Police: Teen Killed In Gang Initiation Was Victim Of Mistaken Identity
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (CBS) – Depree Mims was getting a blanket as his family settled in for a movie at home with his family, when a bullet came through the front window and hit him in the head.
Police said Wednesday the shooting was not only part of a gang initiation, but that the suspects were gunning for someone else.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports police said Depree and his seven brothers and sisters were getting ready to watch a movie in the living room on March 27, when shots rang out, and the 14-year-old fell on his face near the TV.
“[His mother] had asked Depree to get another child a blanket. He stood up, and several gunshots were fired from outside the home. One of these bullets entered the home through the front bay window, and struck Depree in the head,” Merrillville Police Det. Ray Smith said.
Depree died two days later.
On Wednesday, police outlined the charges against the four young men accused of organizing the shooting as part of a gang initiation.
Gary residents Anthony Addison, 22, and his brother Joshua, 21; and Merrillville residents Kevin Dale Brown, 18, and and Matthew Knight, 16, have been charged with murder and criminal gang activity.
Police would not identify the alleged gunman, but one suspect allegedly said Brown fired the shots as part of a gang initiation.
Detectives said other accounts indicate one of the suspects was angry about having his cell phone stolen, and mistakenly thought the thief lived in the home in the 7500 block of Marshall Street.
But no one in the house had any gang ties, according to police.
“This area is not an area where we have trouble. This is a residential area, it’s very blue collar. People live here with their families,” Merrillville Police Detective Cmdr. Robert Wiley said. “However, erroneously, the house was targeted specifically.”
The Mims family was too distraught to talk on camera about the shooting. They said they moved to the house three years ago, because it was a safe neighborhood, and they loved it.
Police said the investigation was continuing as of Wednesday, and detectives have not yet recovered the murder weapon. They did recover shell casings from the scene, and said they’re confident they have the right suspects.