Man formally charged with murder for role in shooting death of 17-year-old in Speedway
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Prosecutors on Friday formally charged a man who police say fatally shot a teenage boy at a home in Speedway on Nov. 12.
The teen who died was identified on Monday as 17-year-old Caiden Clements by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.
- Related: Person fatally shot at home near Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- Related: 19-year-old man arrested for role in fatal Speedway shooting
Benjamin Mulkey, 19, is facing felony charges of murder and for two counts of pointing a firearm at another.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by News 8, Speedway police officers were first called to a house in the 2200 block of North Auburn Street for an investigation. Officers received a report of a male claiming someone had been shot at a nearby home.
When investigators arrived, they found a juvenile male who said he was at a house nearby and someone shot his “brother.” He wasn’t able to lead officers to the home, but provided a description of the vehicles at the house, court documents say.
Based on the description, police found the home in the 5000 block of West 22nd Street, less than a minute away from where police spoke with the juvenile.
Investigators say when they knocked on the door, they met with the home’s residents, later identified as Mulkey’s grandparents. They told officers that someone had been shot and needed help.
Officers found a male, later identified as Clements, lying unconscious near the top of the basement stairs. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives spoke with several witnesses who were at the home when Clements was shot.
The first juvenile witness told investigators that he and Clements were out with another person before going to the house on West 22nd Street. They were met by Mulkey, who took them down to the basement. The witness said he had never met Mulkey before that evening.
The witness told detectives that several people were in the basement, including Mulkey, the person who drove Clements and the witness to the home, Mulkey’s girlfriend, and others.
While hanging out in the basement, court documents say, Mulkey took out a rifle from beneath a bed and showed it to the others. While the firearm was passed around, another juvenile male jammed the gun. The witness said he told the other juvenile that the rifle had a round in the chamber and they were unsuccessful in ejecting it.
Court papers say when the witness asked Mulkey for an unjamming rod, Mulkey said “they didn’t know what they were doing, and he wanted his weapon.” Mulkey denied that there was a round in the chamber, despite the witness’ remarks.
After the witness showed Mulkey the round, Mulkey asked the witness and the other juvenile who loaded the gun. The witness told investigators that Mulkey “pointed the rifle at them, asking them about the loaded round.”
The other male then jokingly said Clements loaded the rifle, court documents say. Clements stood from the futon he was sitting on, and then Mulkey shot him in the chest.
The witness says Clements “grabbed his chest and ran up the basement stairs before collapsing at the top.” Court documents say that when the witness said he was going to call for help, Mulkey allegedly told him to not call the police.
Detectives also spoke with the second juvenile witness. At first, the second witness told police that he was asleep upstairs when the shooting happened, and tried to cover for Mulkey by saying they killed Clements.
But court documents say that after the witness’ mother told the juvenile, “‘Ben has to pay for what he did,” the witness changed his statement.
The second witness said that when in the basement, he asked Mulkey to see the rifle, and Mulkey removed the magazine before giving it to him. The witness put the magazine back on the weapon, and told Mulkey there was a live round in the gun when he gave it back to him. He also told investigators that he told Mulkey he thought the ejector on the rifle might have been broken.
The witness said that Mulkey began looking through the sights on the rifle, and the gun went off as Clements stood from the futon, court documents say.
The other witness statements varied in regard to the locations of people, what led up to the shooting, and correctly identifying Mulkey from a lineup of photographs.
After speaking with all of the witnesses, detectives met with Mulkey. Court documents say as soon as an investigator introduced themself, Mulkey requested an attorney.
He was taken into custody and was being held at the Marion County jail without bond.
Online jail records say that Mulkey is also facing charges for two counts of battery resulting in bodily injury and domestic battery for an unrelated incident.
A jury trial is set for Jan. 22.