Suspect in shooting faces another charge

Ethan Melendez

GREENFIELD — The 17-year-old boy who shot a 15-year-old earlier this month had another charge added to his case by the county’s prosecutor office.

Ethan Emilio Melendez, 17, Greenfield, is now facing a Level 4 felony count of operating a machine gun in the incident that occurred early Oct. 7. The younger boy was shot in the arm during a gathering of teenagers at a residence in the 800 block of North Noble Street.

The Level 4 felony carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison. The charge was added to a Level 5 felony count of carrying a handgun without a license and carrying without a license within 500 feet of a school; a Level 6 felony count of criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon; and a Level 6 felony count of pointing a firearm at another.

Detectives with the Greenfield Police Department said two handguns found near the scene of the shooting and said to belong to the suspect had extended magazines inserted; the slide cover plates also had been changed, allowing them to function as fully automatic weapons, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in support of the charges. A search warrant executed on Melendez’s cellphone revealed photos and videos of him in possession of both guns.

While Melendez has been charged as an adult, his age prevents him from being detained in the Hancock County Jail. He was transported to the Hamilton County Juvenile Services Center, according to the affidavit.

Court records show a pretrial conference is set for mid-December in Hancock County Circuit Court; a jury trial is slated for April 2022.