Fans surprised at violence during Indianapolis 500 this year

Two shot, one fatally, over weekend

INDIANAPOLIS - Another shooting was reported inside the Coke Lot near Indianapolis Motor Speedway, just one day after a man was shot and killed during tailgating, police said.

RELATED | Man fatally shot inside Coke Lot

The second shooting happened about 2:30 a.m. near the Stratford Apartments when two people who were camping out were reportedly robbed.  Police said one of the victims was beaten by several people before the robbery. When the victim's friend went to chase away the suspects, one of the suspects shot him.

The man who was shot, later identified as Alexander Thill of Tinley Park, Illinois, was taken to Eskenazi Health in critical condition along with his friend who was listed in fair condition.

UPDATE Wednesday morning: Thill is reportedly in good condition.

Indiana State Police and Speedway Police were searching for suspects near the Stratford Apartments. Marion County Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs said police worked swiftly following the incident.

"It's a shame that happened, but it's good we had the officers here to respond quickly," Riggs said.

Karen Searle, who lives across from the Coke Lot, said she was surprised at the violence at the Speedway this year.

"I was a little shocked because normally at this race the violence is way down," Searle said. "Everyone is so happy and nice. We never really encountered anyone being aggressive or pushy so in two years that's the first I've heard of something being so violent."

Indiana State Excise Police also arrested 211 people on 250 charges over the weekend. It was the highest number of excise arrests at the race in the past five years. In 2013, 181 people were arrested, with 125 arrests, 149 arrests and 144 arrests in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.
“Public safety is a priority for the State Excise Police,” Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. “Alcohol consumption is expected at events like the Indianapolis 500; however, irresponsible consumption often causes problems that can lessen the enjoyment by many race fans.” 
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