CUMBERLAND — Police believe a 14-year-old pulled the trigger in the slaying of a Cumberland man outside a store Monday night during an apparent robbery.
Officers on Wednesday were finalizing their investigation, preparing to hand evidence over to prosecutors, who will decide what charges the boy and an 18-year-old friend, who was also arrested in connection to the robbery, will face.
Gregory Raley, 37, was shot to death as he was walking into the Dollar General, 12046 E Washington St. Police say the store, just west of the Hancock-Marion County line, was being robbed.
A Cumberland Police Department officer who happened to be patrolling in the area spotted the struggle between Raley and the young suspect in the store’s parking lot before hearing gunshots ring out.
The 14-year-old’s name has not been released because of his age. He and an 18-year-old identified as Stephen Sheppard of Indianapolis were arrested in relation to the incident.
Cumberland Police Chief Mike Crooke said his officers were working Wednesday to submit paperwork to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Those documents will likely lead to criminal charges being filed against the boy and Sheppard.
According to state statute, anyone under the age of 16 can automatically be waived into adult court for certain crimes. Those crimes include murder, kidnapping, rape, criminal deviate conduct, robbery with a deadly weapon and robbery resulting in bodily injury as well as certain crimes related to drug dealing, firearms and gang activity.
A murder charge can be filed against anyone who kills another person while committing or attempting to commit another crime, like robbery, arson, rape and several others.
The shooting around 9 p.m Monday. The officer who was nearby watched as someone exited the building and appeared to grab a customer, later identified as Raley. The officer heard a gunshot while pulling into the parking lot, police said.
Raley was pronounced dead at the scene, and a manhunt began for two suspects, who had fled the scene on foot. The search spanned several miles, involved three law enforcement agencies and a drone, and lasted into the early hours of the next morning, records show.
Four people were reportedly taken into custody and questioned about the incident. Only Sheppard and the 14-year-old were arrested, Crooke said.
Chargers had not been filed against the suspects at press time.