Shelby County man arrested in shooting involving ‘Bob & Tom’ personality
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Shelby County man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder and a gun violation in connection to a December shooting involving a well-known radio personality, according to police and court information.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office served Paul Berkemeier, of Fountaintown, with an arrest warrant on Thursday. He was in the Marion County Jail on Friday afternoon.
Investigators accused Berkemeier of firing shots into a car and injuring Ronald Sexton, who’s known as “Donnie Baker,” a comedian and recurring character on Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show.”
In Marion Superior Court 29, Berkemeier was charged Wednesday with attempted murder, and unlawful carrying of a handgun by a felon. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, online court records show. A Marion County judge unsealed the case’s records Friday.
The shooting resulted from a dispute over the woman who is both Berkemeier’s wife and Sexton’s girlfriend, court documents say.
Sexton was in Indianapolis after finishing a performance in a comedy show in Portland, Indiana. Sexton contacted the woman and asked her to meet him at a bar.
After leaving the bar, they drove separately to a parking garage to drop off her car. Sexton never made it to the parking garage.
Sexton began driving on Shadeland Avenue when a vehicle that was traveling behind his car pulled up to his driver’s side, and shots were fired.
Sexton told investigators that he recognized the shooter as Berkemeier.
IMPD was called at 2 a.m. Dec. 11 to the 8000 block of North Shadeland Avenue. That’s a commercial area on the city’s northeast side. The shooting happened near the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Shadeland Avenue and adjacent to I-69, police say.
Police did not find a gun when they served the arrest warrant, but they did find ammunition around the home. Investigators also found a sedan similar to the vehicle that was traveling behind Sexton’s car.
Investigators found that Berkemeier was convicted of felony thefts in 2017 and 2011.
“During and as a result of the investigation into Berkemeier’s possible role of shots fired, he was arrested on unrelated offenses in Shelby County,” an IMPD spokesman said in a news release.
In Shelby Circuit Court, Berkemeier has pending felony charges of possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance, and possession of a narcotic drug. He also faces lesser charges of possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and possession of a controlled substance. His initial hearing in that case was Jan. 5. He’s scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Feb. 23, online court records show.
IMPD could not until Monday at the earliest provide a jail-booking photo of Berkemeier, whose name was misspelled Friday afternoon in online jail records.
“The Marion County prosecutor has issued a warrant for the arrest of Paul Berkemeier, charging him with attempted murder in the shooting involving Ron Sexton on December 11, 2022. Mr. Berkemeier is currently in custody in Shelby County Jail.
“Ron would like to thank the Indianapolis police, and especially Detective Ryan Gootee, for their hard work in securing an arrest. Ron and his family are relieved that an arrest has been made, and ask for privacy while they recover as a family. It has been a difficult few weeks waiting for an arrest.
“Ron identified Paul Berkemeier as the man who fired multiple gun shots into his rental car in the early morning hours of December 11th. Ron is personally acquainted with Mr. Berkemeier. Because of the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to speculate about a motive for the shooting, other than to say that Ron Sexton was the intended target of the shooting, and that the clear purpose of the shooting was to cause him serious harm.
“Ron and his family are not in a position at this time to discuss any details beyond what has been stated. They ask for public’s understanding and greatly appreciate the concern that has been expressed to date.”
“Statement on behalf of Ronald Sexton” from Jay L. Kanzler, attorney