A cold-hearted Indiana man opened fire on a group of trick-or-treaters on Halloween, killing one and wounding another, police said.
Desmond Crews, 23, of Gary, was charged Wednesday with murder and attempted murder in Sunday’s shooting that killed 13-year-old Thomas DeLaCruz Jr., and wounded another 13-year-old boy in Hammond, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
Crews — who was arrested after a father of one of the trick-or-treaters chased him — told cops he was handed a gun and felt compelled to shoot as his companions opened fire, court documents show.
Police said an investigation into other possible suspects was ongoing.
Thomas’ mother, Jasmine Anderson, said her son from East Chicago, Indiana, was celebrating Halloween in his grandmother’s neighborhood with an aunt and friends when he was shot. Police said the gunfire erupted roughly 30 minutes after the city’s trick-or-treating had officially ended.
“He was being a kid out with his aunt trick-or-treating, walking with a group of kids,” the shattered mom told the newspaper. “And some ignorant, sick person decided to shoot at kids.”
One of the youngsters in Thomas’ group told cops he exchanged words with a man roughly 45 minutes earlier who threatened to get a gun and “shoot them,” court documents show.
The group then noticed a silver car with five or six people inside who appeared to be staring at them. The occupants proceeded to get out — including the man who previously threatened the group — as another person from the car took a “shooting stance” before the shots rang out, records show.
Crews, who was wearing a yellow sweatshirt, was spotted running with a gun before he was later nabbed by cops. Surveillance video also showed him ditching a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and two magazines in a storage barrel, police said.
Crews allegedly admitted to being inside the silver car and told detectives the man who threatened the group of trick-or-treaters “kept saying a group of people could have rolled him and someone was going to die tonight,” court records show.
Crews claimed other people in the car handed him a gun and an extended magazine and then heard others inside the vehicle starting to shoot.
“He felt like he had to shoot,” investigators wrote.
Crews said he saw a child collapse after he opened fire, but insisted he shot over the heads of the trick-or-treaters, court documents show.
Hammond police said the other 13-year-old boy, who was shot in the leg, has been treated and released from a hospital.
“While we are thankful for the community support which led to the arrest of the person of interest, we are heartbroken that such an event could even occur,” cops said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the families of these boys.”
Anderson, who is raising money to help pay for her son’s funeral, is worried about her 10-year-old daughter.
“She shouldn’t have to go through this,” Anderson said of Thomas’ sister. “I’m only 30 years old. I only got 13 years with my son.”
Anderson, meanwhile, is planning a vigil for Thursday at the shooting scene, where she plans to expose Crews’ alleged actions.
“If I have to post his picture in the sky, everyone is going to know what this man did to my child,” Anderson told the newspaper.