Parents of Indianapolis firefighter speak after gunbattle with neighbor
GREENWOOD, Ind (WISH) — The parents of an Indianapolis firefighter spoke out Thursday after prosecutors say their son shot his neighbor four times in the chest, but won’t be charged.
“I think he’s justified in getting off because I’ve been out there with him and I’ve heard just some of the words that he’s used towards him. He had a lot more restrain than I did,” Jerry Keller said.
The shootout happened near the property lines of Dean Keller and Jeffrey Weigle last week on the 900 block of Campbell Road near the rural community of Rocklane.
Keller was seen on camera shooting his neighbor, prosecutors say. WISH-TV was the first to show the video, which has been widely shared online and made local and national headlines.
The Kellers’ said they are grateful the ordeal was captured on video, because they said it shows he was only defending himself.
Before the police commotion and yellow police tape surrounding the neighborhood, Jackie and Jerry remembered more peaceful days. Jerry has lived on the street for almost 80 years.
“Because I was raised in the house over there and this is the first time we have ever had anything in this neighborhood,” he said.
But that all changed, they said, when their neighbor began renting a room to Weigle.
“The word feud is so wrong because it was bullying and harassment and stalking. It just changed from one thing to another,” Jackie Keller said.
Since 2009, police were called at least 15 different times to settle disputes between Weigle and Keller.
“The most trouble he ever got into was because he was throwing firecrackers at the dog,” said Jackie Keller.
Police arrested Weigle in that incident in 2011 after a scuffle involving a knife. But, the fighting continued. It got so bad that, according to the Kellers, their son purchased a high-tech surveillance system. The cameras caught Keller and Weigle feuding last week. Weigle is heard yelling insults at Keller and his wife. He then takes off in a lawnmower, but returns and, prosecutors say, waives a gun. Keller pulls out his gun, firing several shots, striking Weigle four times, authorities say
“It’s hard on both sides even though he perpetrated it, it’s still hard on my son,” said Jerry Keller.
Weigle is at IU Health Methodist Hospital in critical condition. WISH-TV stopped by his house, but his landlord did not answer. We also tried reaching out to loved ones, but have not heard back from anyone. Prosecutors said if Weigle recovers, he could face charges.
Dean Keller has also not returned our calls.