Court documents show links between 2 murder cases during downtown riots
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man accused in an armed robbery downtown during rioting at the end of May is also connected to two fatal shootings that night, court documents show.
Police believe Alijah Jones and Marcus Anderson, both 23 years old, were two people in a group of five who robbed a woman in her car in a parking garage at Vermont and Delaware streets on May 30. Jones and Anderson on Friday remained in the Marion County Jail.
According to court documents sent to News 8, Jones may also be a witness or a suspect in the shooting death of former Indiana University football player Chris Beaty. Beaty was shot in the area of North Talbott and East Vermont streets just before midnight on May 30. That’s less than half a mile away from the robbery on Delaware Street.
And a third suspect in the armed robbery, 18-year-old Dorian Murrell, died in a shooting at Monument Circle hours after the robbery. Jones is Murrell’s brother and witnessed that shooting, according to his interview with police. Tyler Newby, 29, was arrested in June and charged with murder in Murrell’s death.
Here’s what we know about each of those incidents and how they’re linked.
Armed robbery at Vermont and Delaware streets: 11:30 p.m. May 30
Just before 11:30 p.m., a woman not identified in court documents was sitting in her car in a parking garage when four males approached her car, one knocking on her car window. One of the suspects pointed a gun at her through the window, and when she opened her car door, he pointed the gun in her face and asked where her car keys were while other suspects opened her backseat doors and took things from the car. Another person pulled her across the center console by the collar and also asked where her keys were before the other suspects rummaged through her car and walked away. The woman then got out, picked up some of her things and drove away, she told a police detective in court documents.
The woman flagged down police after the robbery but “due to the violent protests taking place in the area,” the officer she talked to took her name and contact information, gave her a case number and “sent [her] on her way,” according to court documents.
Police obtained surveillance video from the parking garage and a nearby dentist’s office. That video captured the robbery and provided details about the appearance and clothing of Jones, Anderson and Murrell that would figure into further investigations, according to court documents.
Anonymous tips and the clothing seen in surveillance video led police to believe the suspects’ identities matched those of Murrell, Jones and Anderson. A description of surveillance video indicates Jones held the gun, Murrell took the woman’s bag and wallet, and Anderson held the woman down during the robbery, according to police in court documents.
The other two suspects captured in video surveillance — a man and a woman — have not been identified, and police are seeking help from the public. One person of interest is a female seen wearing a multi-colored jacket. The other person is a male wearing a black, long-sleeve shirt with a “Champion” logo on the front.
Police believe the group may have been involved in at least one other armed robbery that night. Police have released surveillance video of that robbery.
Anyone with information on their identities is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.
Shooting of Chris Beaty at Vermont and Talbott streets: sometime between 11:45 p.m. May 30 and midnight
IMPD officers arrived in the area of Talbott and Vermont streets just before midnight on reports of a person shot. When they arrived to the scene they found Chris Beaty, 38, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He died at the scene.
A July 21 court filing discussing a subpoena for Jones to be deposed in the trial of Tyler Newby, accused in the murder of Dorian Murrell, lists a police report corresponding to Beaty’s shooting among investigations in which Jones “is believed to be a possible suspect and/or witness.” The other reports in the filing correspond to the armed robbery in the parking garage and to a nonfatal shooting at 11:35 p.m. that night at New York and Alabama streets.
In the days following Beaty’s death, he was remembered with a vigil, a mural and a public visitation.
Brandon Mosley, an IU teammate who said he was Beaty’s best friend, told News 8, “My last real conversation with him was like at 10:45 that evening. Just talking about our plans and how we were going to just chill at home for the day.”
Police have not announced any arrests in his death.
Shooting of Dorian Murrell near Monument Circle: 2:20 a.m. May 31
Officers found Dorian Murrell with an apparent gunshot wound just east of Monument Circle around 2:20 a.m. Sunday. He was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, where he later died. Tyler Newby turned himself in to police shortly after the shooting, approaching a Marion County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy and saying, “I don’t know who I need to tell, but I just shot somebody.”
Jones was with Murrell at the hospital and told police he and his brother were near the Circle with a group of people when Murrell “got into an altercation with an unknown white male.” Jones told police he did not know the names of the people he was with when Murrell was shot but that one of them was “Marcus,” court documents say.
A friend of Newby also spoke to investigators and claimed he and Newby “thought things had calmed down so they came downtown to see what all had happened,” according to court documents.
The friend said a group of people approached him after “he picked up an orange/red gas canister that had been discharged.”
He said the group asked what he found. Newby said his friend didn’t want to show the group. The friend said a portion of the group “walked towards him and kind of pushed him a little bit, but no one hit him,” according to court documents.
Newby said he “felt a hand on his back and then he was shoved from behind and fell to the ground.” When he rolled over, he said someone was standing over him. He said “the male did not say anything to him nor did he strike him.”
Newby then pulled out his gun and fired one shot, according to court documents.
“It all happened so fast, it was just a reaction,” Newby told investigators.
An autopsy revealed Murrell was shot in the heart.