Charges filed in Broad Ripple "self-defense" shooting

Tristan Crayton

A Westfield man faces 12 counts of battery and criminal recklessness for his role in an August 2, 2013 shooting in Broad Ripple that left four people injured.

Tristan Crayton faces four counts of battery (Class C felony), four counts of criminal recklessness (Class C felony) and another four counts of criminal recklessness (Class D felony).

The Marion County prosecutor said, "shooting a firearm into a place where people are likely to gather that created a substantial risk of bodily injury the victims."

The charges were filed Friday after the case went to a grand jury. The case has been assigned to Marion County Criminal Court 5.

A charge of a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Tristan Crayton told police he shot three people whom he claims were attacking him and a friend. A fourth man who was a bystander was also injured.

The shootings occurred on a Friday morning outside the RA Nite Club on College Ave. near the intersection with Broad Ripple Ave. Crayton flagged down an officer after the shootings and told them he had shot the men.

Indiana law is clear. In a home or on the street, during a confrontation, you are under no obligation to retreat. You can stand your ground. Whatever you do next is up for legal interpretation. A person is justified using reasonable force to protect himself or someone else if he reasonably believes it will protect them from harm.

"The 'reasonable' word crops up in our law numbers of times," said attorney Fran Watson.

The jury decides what is reasonable. "That's it. It's a jury question," Watson replied.

Watson is a criminal defense attorney and IU School of Law professor.

"To be able to use deadly force, to use a gun and shoot someone, you have to believe that there is at least a fear of serious bodily injury," she said.

Crayton's friends have raised more than $3,000 for his legal defense.