Crime Watch 8

1 year later, police search for second shooter at kids’ birthday party

1 year later, police search for second shooter at kids’ birthday party

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — It’s been one year since five teens were shot during a birthday party in Lawrence. Days later, one of the teens died. 

Police are renewing their push for answers in a case they don’t want to see go cold.

Lawrence police arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection to the June 10, 2018, shooting of Daron “Manny” Johnson.

But detectives believe there was a second shooter, and a year of searching has ended with no new suspect in custody.

“Somebody out there does know something. We know that. We remain hopeful. This case is not closed,” said Gary Woodruff, deputy chief of Lawrence Police Department.

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As another day passes, Lawrence police say they need to know more about Manny’s death, a crime officers say should have never happened. 

“Nothing good results from a teenager, a 13, 14,15-year-old carrying a gun out in the street,” said Woodruff. 

It all happened early on a Sunday morning at the Lion’s Club near 47th Street and Richardt Avenue. 

A fight between two people at a party for a 13-year-old led to a fight between two groups of people. And an exchange of gunfire left five teens shot, including Manny.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” said nearby neighbor Mike Beeler.

That night, News 8 cameras saw Beeler on crutches. A year later, he was on a bicycle and back at the scene. It was a night he will never forget. 

“I went inside and saw a boy lying on the ground who had been shot and just gave him CPR until the paramedics got here,” said Beeler.

While police say Beeler’s efforts gave Manny a fighting chance, the boy later died at the hospital. 

Right after the shooting, Manny’s family told News 8 the night at the Lions Club was the first time the boy had ever been allowed to go to a party. And police said Manny did not appear to have been part of the fight.

Police took a 14-year-old boy into custody the same day. And while dozens of people were inside the party when the shooting happened, investigators have been unsuccessful in finding a second suspect.

“Sadly we do not have a definitive description of that second person. We do know they were here at the party, and somebody out there knows something, and we’d still like to get that information,” said Woodruff.

The man who tried to save Manny’s life hopes someone has answers for a family still grieving.

“If somebody knows what happened, they need to say something. If it was their loved one, their son, their brother, they know something. There were enough kids here. They know what happened. They know who that person was that did it. They just need to come forward and ‘Hey you did this, come forward and suffer the consequences,'” said Beeler.

If you know who that second shooter is, call 317-262-TIPS with any information. Your tip will remain anonymous.