INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Two men arrested in the shooting death of 1-year-old Malaysia Robson admitted to shooting at a northeast side home, court documents said.
Shortly before 1:45 a.m. March 29, officers were called to the 3500 block of North Wittfield Street for report of a person shot. After arriving on scene, a 19-year-old woman, Ana Fox, and a 1-year-old, Robson, were both found to have been shot. Fox was hospitalized for a time due to her injuries.
Police said one of several fired bullets killed the child, but a suspect's family said the men are innocent.
Brian Palmer, 29, and Darrin Banks, 27, sat side by side Thursday in their first court appearance. A judge said prosecutors had not yet filed filed charges. The men are due back in court Tuesday for another hearing.
"That is not their demeanor," Palmer's mother, Renee Sloan, said. "Those boys do not deal with teenage stuff other than that playing video games or working on someone's car."
Palmer's father added that the men were playing video games before the shooting.
Banks and Palmer told police they were angry about a fight that injured Banks' pregnant sister earlier in the night, court documents said. They confessed to firing two guns at the North Wittfield home with knowledge that people were inside.
"It's a tricky process when you're trying to get somebody to say what you want them to say," Palmer's sister, Raven Sloan, said. "So, no, I'm not going to stand on that, whatever you all read in your all court documents. However that goes, we not standing on that."
Detectives said the shooting stemmed from a social media dispute that escalated to a fight at an east side apartment building before Malaysia's death.
Someone told police he or she heard it was Banks and Palmer who shot at the home, court records show. Police said they pulled them over, got a search warrant and found two "AR-style rifles" with ammo in Palmer's car.
Malaysia's grandfather, Leon Lane, said whoever shot Malaysia does not deserve a life sentence. He said he hopes "justice is served with mercy."
"They made a mistake. I know they wasn't trying to shoot Malaysia," Lane said. "I don't want to see anybody lose their entire youth over this situation because they're able to recover and become a more productive citizen and learn from this situation."
Detectives said in court documents that the shooting is connected to an ongoing dispute between family and close friends.
"I was upset and crying when I found out that a 1-year-old child lost their life," Renee Sloan said. "My sons? No, that is not in their demeanor."
Police said they found about 19 shell casings in front of the home, according to court documents. Detectives said 12 people were inside.