Robbery suspect killed in Greenwood shootout, officials discuss pot dealings in county

GREENWOOD, Ind. -- A man was shot and killed following a drug deal and attempted robbery at a Johnson County home, according to police. Two people have been arrested in connection to the crime. 

Officers with the Greenwood Police Department responded to a house in the 300 block of Bridle Court around midnight Tuesday to a call of shots fired. They found three people shot, with one dead.

Police say they believe the suspect, identified by police as Derrick Brown, came to the house to rob the victims after colluding with Sean Goodman and Sam Silverman.

Brown was dressed in black with rubber gloves and had a handgun. The victims told police that he had tried to force his way into the house when gunfire broke out between the two parties.

After the Brown was shot, he tried to run to a car waiting for him, witnesses said. He collapsed and died in the street before he could reach the car.

The two people who live in the house, Ryan Endress, 21, and Kaylee Whitaker, 21, were taken to Eskenazi Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Endress was shot in the leg and Whitaker was shot in the arm, said Greenwood assistant chief of police Matthew Fillenwarth.

Based on the "considerable" amount of drugs and money recovered from the house, the motive for the robbery is believed to be drug-related, Fillenwarth said.

"That's a pretty quiet neighborhood," he said. "But drugs invade all parts of our society right now -- there are few people you talk to in a society that they're lives have not been impacted, in some way by drugs in this country. Obviously, this doesn't happen every day in Greenwood."

Fillenwarth said Greenwood detectives were unaware of any drug activity going on at the house, but many neighbors came up to their officers at the scene, saying they'd seen suspicious activity near the house but didn't know who to call.

"Yes you do [know who to call]," Fillenwarth said. "Call the police. Any time something looks suspicious or out of order in your neighborhood, we constantly beg people to call us."

Many different kinds of drugs were found in the house, including marijuana, controlled substances, and acid, said Greenwood police.

"Haven't seen acid in a long time around here," Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.

Authorities believe it was a burglary/armed robbery amongst drug dealers.

Endress and Whitaker will most likely be charged with possession with intent to deliver, Cooper said. They will not be charged in connection with the shooting since it will be considered self-defense.

But, due to Indiana's drug laws, it's unlikely they'll face any long-term, serious punishment. 

Possession of marijuana is a B Misdemeanor, and dealing marijuana is only an A misdemeanor.

Cooper believes the last three or four homicides in Johnson County were over marijuana drug deals. There are two obstacles to stopping the problem in the county -- the classification of the crime and the fact that other states have legalized marijuana, Cooper said.

"The best thing we can do here is aggressively going out and try to ferret those people out and arrest them," Cooper said. "Unfortunately, we don't have a whole heck of a lot we can do with them after we arrest them. ... I defy anyone to find anyone in our prison who is honestly sitting in our prison based on possession of marijuana. We can arrest them, we can sometimes take their money, take their stuff, take their guns, take whatever their proceeds are, and that might hurt them for a little bit. But there really is not sufficient legal remedies from a prosecutor's standpoint to do much to the dealers and the users that we catch, especially with marijuana."

That last part -- "especially with marijuana" -- is something exacerbated by the fact that several states have legalized it, according to Cooper. People in Indiana are taking it from those states, and bringing it back to sell.

"Marijuana is becoming a really big business," Cooper said. "A lot of people are pooling large amounts of cash together and going to Colorado, or somewhere else it would be legal, and collecting as much marijuana as they can get, and driving it back. ... That's how the Mafia started."

Detectives later discovered that Sean Goodman and Sam Silverman were colluding with Brown when he committed the crime. They have both been charged with robbery. 
The crime remains under investigation by the Greenwood Police Department. 

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