I-Team 8

Man charged with murdering carjacker at Indianapolis gas station

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man who was carjacked was charged with murdering the thief, according to the Marion County prosecutor.

The last time Anvictor Butler drove his white Chevrolet Malibu was Tuesday morning to a Marathon gas station at Southeastern and South Emerson avenues.

According to police, Butler pulled up to the gas pump and went inside the gas station. Seconds later, Dustin Phipps got into Butler’s car and tried to take off. That is when Butler pulled out a Glock .357 and fired two rounds into driver’s side of the car. At least one of those rounds hit Phipps, killing him. 

Jody Maderia, a professor from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, said, “Someone is justified in using reasonable force to protect themselves or others but only when they reasonably believe unlawful force will be used against them.”

With Phipps behind the wheel and mortally wounded, the car went a couple hundred yards on Southeastern Avenue before suddenly crashing through a chain-link fence coming to rest against a tree.

Butler chased the car down the street and returned to the gas station when the car crashed. According to police, Butler had driven to the gas station alone, and, had there been a passenger such as a child, Indiana law might have treated him differently when he pulled the trigger.  

“It is not enough that someone is stealing your car or it is not enough that someone is stealing your television you actually need to believe that this person is going to endanger yourself or another third party,” Maderia said.

Butler left the scene and almost instantly hired a lawyer. He turned himself into police wearing the same clothes he had on earlier in the day when he pulled the trigger. He also surrendered the Glock .357 that still had one round in the chamber. Police immediately arrested him for murder. 

Butler was expected to make his first court appearance on Friday.

Officer Samone Burris of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on the day of the shooting said, “Gun violence is not the answer to resolve any type of situation or incident.”