INDIANAPOLIS— An Indianapolis couple is credited with helping save a shooting victim’s life Wednesday night, after the man ran through an apartment complex screaming for help.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers reported around 6 p.m. that evening after someone opened fire inside the Scarborough Lake Apartment complex at 46th Street and High School Road.
Police say there were two victims: one man who died at the scene, and another who was injured and taken to the hospital.
The surviving victim escaped the scene and sought refuge inside a neighboring apartment.
Robert and Tori Gootee are newlyweds living in Scarborough Lake Apartments and were watching a movie together Wednesday evening.
“We heard a pounding on the door. We went up to the peephole,” said Tori Gootee. “I could see the guy. He was covered in blood. He was banged up so I opened the door and he kind of fell in.”
They said they were initially afraid for their own safety, in case the shooter was close behind the victim. But they decided to let him into their home.
“He was in his underwear so I could tell he wasn’t armed and didn’t have anything on him. That’s the only reason I let him in,” said Tori Gootee.
They let him in, gave him a towel to press against his gunshot wound and called 911.
“We were worried because he was badly injured but he was thanking us and apologizing to us,” said Tori Gootee.
Robert Gootee said the emergency call was very frustrating, as he was first sent to an automatic answering message, then one dispatch employee and finally transferred to another as he continually begged for an ambulance to help.
“Every second counts with something like that. The shooter ran away on foot,” said Tori Gootee. “They could have came five minutes sooner, he might have still been here, they might have made an arrest.”
The Gootees said the gunshot victim identified himself and tried to tell them what had happened, saying he was shot and jumped off the third story balcony, then ran across the apartment complex calling for help. They said he was very concerned about the welfare of everyone else in the apartment.
“He said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong. I don’t know why they would do that to me, I don’t know why I moved to Indiana,’” remembered Tori Gootee. “He had recently moved from Florida.”
The man blacked out on the carpet and was treated by medics and taken to the hospital. The Gootees took the next day off work to scrub the blood out of their carpets and work with management to get into a new apartment unit.
“It’s a bit of a bad memory with that apartment right now,” said Robert Gootee.
While they say they don’t feel like heroes, they are grateful they were in the right place at the right time.
“I didn’t want him to die right there,” said Robert Gootee. “I just saw that someone needed help and tried to do whatever I could to help him.”
IMPD is still looking into the case. If you have any information to share with police, call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477.