INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man has been convicted of murder in a fatal 2019 shooting.
Derek Oechsle, 33, was convicted of Murder and Criminal Recklessness for the death of 41-year-old Christopher Smith.
On Nov. 29, 2019, Oechsle shot and killed Smith at Jake’s Pub on 1280 W. Southport Road. That night, Smith was celebrating his bachelor party with his friends. Witnesses say Oechsle, who appeared “visibly upset”, came into the pub and sat near Smith’s group.
Eventually, a fight broke out between Oechsle and someone at the bar. According to witnesses, Oechsle pulled out a gun and began beating the other man with it.
When Smith tried to break up the fight, Oechsle shot Smith and fired into the crowd. That’s when one of Smith’s friends returned fire, hitting Oechsle several times.
Smith immediately collapsed in the bar. Oechsle tried to run off, but collapsed in the parking lot. They were both taken to the hospital, where Smith died.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears says Smith’s death is a tragedy.
“It was one of those situations that you just hate to see, because this didn’t have to happen, and there’s no good reason for why it did happen,” said Mears. “I hope people know when they go out with a gun, there’s a potential for violence. That violence can end someone’s life. When people make the decision to go out to a bar and celebrate responsibly, they shouldn’t have a concern that they’re going to be involved in a physical altercation, or that someone is going to lose their life.”
A sentencing hearing has been set for May 20 at 2 p.m. in Criminal Court 28.