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Police look for fourth suspect, a Goshen man, in connection with burglary.

Four teenagers have been charged with felony murder after an attempted burglary last week.
Posted on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Four teenagers were charged with felony murder Tuesday as a result of an attempted burglary that ended in one person being fatally shot and another injured last week.

The county prosecutor also said Tuesday that the homeowner who shot at the suspects will not face any charges.

Though three of suspects in the incident are in custody, police are looking for a fourth suspect.

Blake Layman, 16, and Jose Quiroz, 16, were arrested Oct. 3 for an attempted burglary at 1919 Frances Ave. Levi Sparks, 17, was arrested Monday.

The police requested a warrant for the arrest of Anthony Sharp, who, according to officials, lives in Goshen.

In a press conference, Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill said in total, there were five intruders in the residence. Danzele Johnson, 21, was with the four teenagers when he was shot by the homeowner.

Rodney Scott, 54, the homeowner, was taking a nap in his bedroom around 2:30 p.m. upstairs when he heard noises.

Officials believe the suspects forced their way through the back door and had armed themselves with some of Scott's knives.

He took his handgun, his cell phone and ran down the stairs. When he saw the suspects, he fired five shots at the intruders, hitting Layman on the leg and fatally injuring Johnson, said Hill. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sparks ran out the door, Quiroz jumped through the window and was caught by police a few blocks down and Sharp, who was acting as lookout, fled, Hill said.

After the incident, Scott called police and asked them to call medics.

Although neither of the teenagers committed murder, they can be charged for felony murder under Indiana law if a person is killed as a result of their engaging in criminal behavior, Hill said.

Scott will not face any charges because his actions were reasonable given the circumstances, said Hill.

“Mr. Scott, at the time this occurred, was clearly in fear of his own life and under the circumstances will not face any criminal responsibility for the shooting in this matter.”

Police found no indication that any of the suspects knew Scott directly, and that they may have chosen the residence because they thought no one was home at the time.

Hill said the investigation is ongoing at this time and as of Tuesday morning did not know whether any of the past burglaries in the area are connected to any of the teenagers arrested.




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