GREENWOOD, Ind.–The shooting of Whiteland High School student Temario Stokes has shocked many people in Greenwood. Still, the chief of police says it’s a safe place. In a press conference Friday morning, he offered little new information.
“Witnesses informed officers that the suspect fled between houses and ran south through the neighborhood toward a cornfield,” said Chief Jim Ison, who said officers met Tyrique Radford El, 18, of Greenwood, when he came out of that cornfield about three hours later. He was dirty and soaked.
He was taken back to headquarters and interviewed.
LISTEN: Press conference on the bus stop shooting
“As a result of the detectives’ interviews with Tyrique, two search warrants were served in the afternoon,” he said. Ison did not elaborate on what police were looking for. He said that detectives are going over cell phone data to try and determine why the shooting happened.
Ison described the conflict that may have led up to the shooting as “minor”.
Beyond that, Ison answered several questions saying he couldn’t say much.
“Please understand this is a very early investigations. I keep saying I want to protect the integrity of the case,” he said. “I did talk to the prosecutor this morning. He is reviewing the probable cause affidavit. He did advise me that once he preliminarily reviews that, that most likely next week he will be issuing a statement regarding any charging.”
El is preliminarily charged with murder and is being held in the Johnson County jail.
The superintendent of Clark-Pleasant Community Schools, Patrick Sway, said counseling is being offered to students who may need it.
“Temario Stokes became a Whiteland Community High School Warrior Aug. 17. Temario Stokes attended classes for four days before he was killed on the way to his bus stop,” said Spray. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough to lift this unimaginable pain inflicted on Temario Stokes’ family.”
Ison acknowledged that, as police have been saying lately, especially in announcing the work of the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force, that violent crime is spilling over into suburbs like Greenwood, from cities like Indianapolis.
“What I would say is that Greenwood is still a very safe place,” he said. “Yes, we have had an increase, an abnormal amount of homicides this year. I’m hoping the law of averages says we’re headed for a lull.”
He called the incident and the year’s crimes thus far “abnormal”.
“We typically have a very low violent crime rate. Typically when these things happen, like in the mall shooting, it’s in the place you’d least expect,” said Ison. “I don’t think there’s any concern of rising crime necessarily. It’s just more of a run of bad luck.”