PC: Kroger attacker asked victim where knives were before stabbing, shooting him

INDIANAPOLIS -- Days after it happened, officials aren't sure whether a man found dead in the dairy aisle of an Indianapolis Kroger was killed by being shot or stabbed.

Carlos Castro, 43, was pronounced dead in the aisle of the Kroger on S. East Street Friday at about 8:30 p.m. He had at least one gunshot wound and had been stabbed multiple times.

"I heard three gunshots," a witness said Friday. "Like, very consecutive -- doom-doom-doom. I just ran out of the store"

When he was identified by Marion County Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew, Castro's cause of death was listed as "shot or stabbed."

Witnesses told police the suspect ran from the store, carjacked another customer's vehicle, and drove away from the store. 

"He came out, got in somebody's car, fired a couple more shots out here, then took off," another witness said. 

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Detectives found the stolen vehicle a few blocks away, but the driver didn't stop. He led police on a chase before crashing into several parked cars and running from the scene. Police eventually caught and arrested him.

The suspect was later identified as Jason Cooper, 37. 

While a formal charging decision had not yet been made, a preliminary probable cause affidavit filed Monday in Marion County offered more details into the incident. As of Tuesday at 9 a.m., Cooper was still on a 72-hour continuence. The prosecutor must file charges by 9 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the affidavit, just prior to the attack, Cooper asked Castro where the kitchen knives where and the latter man pointed them out to him.

A witness told police when he came around the corner, he saw Cooper on top of Castro stabbing him with a knife. He said he then heard three gunshots. As he fled the scene, he said he heard at least one more gunshot. Sources tell Call 6 Investigates that Castro may have been killed with his own gun.

According to the IMPD detective who filed the affidavit, once Cooper was apprehended he “appeared to be nervous, twitching, speaking fast and was unable to focus on one topic.” The detective also noted that Cooper was dirty and unkempt.

Due to his state, Cooper was transported to Eskenazi Hospital and was not immediately questioned. His first court date is scheduled for October 24.

Amy Ihnen was at a nearby restaurant when the shooting happened. She said she was getting ready to leave when two people stopped her from going in the parking lot. 

"She had said they just got out from hiding behind a dumpster," Ihnen said. "It was crazy. I was thinking of how many glass windows were around and if this guy was still around and if everybody was OK. I just didn't know what to think, really."

Kroger officials released the following statement about the shooting.

"This is a tragic situation. Fortunately, no one else was hurt. For now, we will strive to comfort shaken associates and do whatever we can to help police with the investigation."

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