IMPD: Day care shooting suspect apprehended in Kentucky

INDIANAPOLIS - A man suspected of shooting his ex-wife in front of a west-side day care turned himself in to police in Lexington, Ky. late Wednesday evening, officials confirmed.

An arrest warrant was issued for Christopher Justice on Wednesday after police suspected him of shooting his ex-wife in front of an Indianapolis day care.

The shooting happened Tuesday morning in the area of 38th Street and Interstate 465 when Shirley Justice, 31, was shot in the parking lot of Eagle View KinderCare in the 6700 block of Eagle View Drive.

Justice, 33, was named a suspect and police believe the shooting was the result of a custody dispute.

According to an Indianapolis Metro Police Department report, a judge modified the custody provision of their divorce decree, giving the father sole custody of their 6-year-old daughter last week.

Investigators said Shirley Justice refused to give up custody and she had filed a petition against the ruling. Judges have 90 days to rule on a case, which may have incensed her ex-husband, police said.

"As it turns out, the judge did issue a ruling. It was 2 hours after she filed her petition. At that point, he no longer had authority to rule on the case and the order was void," said IU School of Law Professor Jeffrey Cooper.

Meanwhile, Christopher Justice had a history of domestic violence and completed a 26-week, court-ordered education course. 

Julia Kathary with the Coburn Place said judges should be included in the domestic violence courses.

"Judges should be trained and I know they are required to receive continuing education.  I think one of the continuing education focuses ought to be on domestic violence and there are serious ramifications to not handling a situation in an appropriate manner," Kathary said.

The Indiana Supreme Court has since named a new judge to handle the custody case.

Investigators said they were in touch with one of Justice's relatives in Lexington and got them to convince Justice to turn himself in Wednesday night. 

IMPD officials said detectives planned to pick Justice up from Lexington on Thursday morning. The plan was to bring him back to Indiana later Thursday evening.

Shirley Justice remained hospitalized in critical condition.

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