IMPD: Man fatally shot in his driveway leaving for work

John Yingling, 38, killed

INDIANAPOLIS - A man was fatally shot on the city's south side while pulling out of his driveway on his way to work on Wednesday morning, police said.

About 8 a.m., 911 dispatchers sent police to the 3300 block of Babette Court, near Southport and McFarland Road after a woman called police because she believed her husband was in distress.

The woman said she had been talking to her husband on the phone as he was backing out of the driveway. She told police she heard a third person in the background before the call was disconnected.

"She believed she heard a problem in the background, the possibility that he was being assaulted or robbed. I'm not sure which. We're still working through all that and she called 911," said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Linda Jackson

When police arrived at the home, they found an unresponsive man in the cab of a truck suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

The man was later identified as John Yingling, 38.

"This is just ridiculous," said Bruce Hatfield, Yingling's brother-in-law. "He was supposed to be at work at 10. He was backing out of his driveway to grab a Dr. Pepper and got murdered in his driveway."

Neighbors were shocked.

"I've lived here 25, 26 years... we've never had anything like this on this street, in fact this whole neighborhood," one neighbor told RTV6.

Even law enforcement was surprised to receive the call.

"I've been doing this for 24 years and I'm still amazed or shocked sometimes when individuals commit these types of crimes," said Commander Ron Hicks, with IMPD.

News of the incident brought a rare visit from Mayor Greg Ballard to the scene.

"It's very strange for this area, no question about that. I hope the neighbors know that we're putting everything into this," Ballard said.

IMPD believe the 15- and 17-year-old suspects are responsible for a crime spree that went on for several days and included as many as three car thefts and a half dozen street robberies, in addition to the deadly shooting of Yingling. 

“We have no suspect or vehicle information from the scene. The homeowner was leaving his house to run an errand; we have had several robberies in this area this morning that we are following up on. We had another shooting on the west side of Indianapolis that we are looking at,” said Deputy Chief Greg Bieberich.

The shooting on the west side involved a man who was shot while walking his dog.

Police believe the stolen 2003 blue Ford Expedition involved with the shooting on the west side is also linked to the Southport shooting. It may also have been linked to a police chase Wednesday afternoon.

As a precaution, nearby Southport Elementary School was placed on lockdown. The lockdown was lifted just before 10 a.m.

Police said the 17-year-old suspect is hospitalized for a medical condition unrelated to the chase. The 15-year-old is being questioned at police headquarters.

IMPD said the shooting is under investigation and have asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS, or text "INDYCS" plus tip information to 274627.

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