Teen robbery suspects arrested after gunfight at west Indianapolis Burger King

Gunfight at Burger King
Shots fired at Burger King
Gunfire at Burger King Sunrise update

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Police have arrested five teenagers who are suspected in nearly a dozen robberies in central Indiana.

Antonio Cowherd and Mikel Kendrick, both 19-years-old, along with three other juveniles are in custody on robbery charges.

Police say three of the suspects held up the Burger King restaurant in the 5100 block of West Washington Street around 9 p.m. Wednesday. The teenagers walked into the restaurant with guns, but a firearms instructor who had just left the restaurant with his food saw the suspects putting on masks and going inside, so he followed them.

That customer, who is licensed to carry a firearm, ordered the teens to drop their weapons, but they instead turned and pointed their guns in his direction. That man fired to defend himself and a gunfight ensued.

No one was hurt in the shooting and the suspects fled in an SUV.

Officers were familiar with the description of the suspects because this same description matched previous robberies in recent nights.

About 40 minutes later, an IMPD officer stopped an SUV that he knew matched the description of one wanted in the series of robberies in Marion and Hendricks counties. The three Burger King suspects and two others were inside the SUV, all believed to be related to nine robberies in the last three days.

Police say the thieves were targeting convenience stores and restaurants and had allegedly held up a west Indianapolis gas station earlier in the evening Wednesday.

An IMPD spokesperson said she is thankful no one was injured in the shooting and stressed the importance of education and training for gun owners.

"I do appreciate the fact we have individuals that exercise their rights to carry weapons, that they have the training to go behind it, to understand when they can use deadly force," said IMPD Deputy Chief Valerie Cunningham. "That's so very important for people to understand how precious life is and that you can't just fire a handgun over a material issue. You actually have to fear that your life is being threatened or someone else's life is being threatened.

"So it's so very important, you know, the combination to have an individual that was armed and had the knowledge and the training to understand when they can use that weapon, you know, that definitely played a large part in this."

The customer remained at the restaurant and was speaking with police late Wednesday. Police have not identified him.

Cowherd and Kendrick were taken to the Arrestee Processing Center, and the younger boys went to Juvenile Detention. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office will decide on charges for the five teens.

While investigators have not connected the suspects to any other robberies, police believe they could also be involved in one or more of these robberies committed within the past week:

  • Monday, October 3: Citgo at 7239 W. 10th St.
  • Monday, October 3: BP at 5470 S. East St.
  • Monday, October 3: Speedway at 3510 S Meridian St.
  • Monday, October 3: Thornton's at SR 267 at I-70 in Plainfield
  • Tuesday, October 4: Family Dollar at 6003 N. Michigan Rd.
  • Tuesday, October 4: Thornton's at 4015 E. 82nd St.
  • Wednesday, October 5: Village Pantry at 5601 Guion Rd.
  • Wednesday, October 5: Valero at 8009 W. Washington St.
  • Wednesday, Octover 5: Burger King at 5199 W. Washington St.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 262-TIPS (8477), (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or submit an anonymous online tip at: www.CrimeTips.org.