An Indiana homeowner fatally shot two armed intruders who broke into his DeKalb County residence early Sunday morning — and then held at gunpoint a third intruder, as well as a fourth person who was outside, until police arrived.
The crooks and the homeowner weren't exactly strangers. Turns out the foursome stole cash from the homeowner the day before, WPTA-TV reported.
How did this all unfold?
The homeowner was asleep inside his residence in the 1600 block of State Road 8 just outside Auburn on Sunday, the station said, citing court documents. It was around 6 a.m. when a break-in commenced, Indiana State Police told WXIN-TV.
The homeowner told police he woke up to his dog barking and saw three people in his home — Tabitha L. Johnson, Dylan Morefield, and Rameica Moore, WPTA said.
The homeowner said Morefield and Moore threatened him and at times held a gun to his head, the station said, adding that all three began stealing items from his home and demanding money, the station reported.
But he reminded them that they took all his money the day before, so the homeowner told police they made him write a check with no name on it for $500, WPTA said.
A fatal turning of the tables
The homeowner said he was able to retrieve his shotgun, and he fatally shot Morefield and Moore, the station said. The coroner confirmed that the pair died of their injuries, WPTA reported. Moore was 36 and Morefield was 22, state police told WXIN.
The homeowner said he took the third burglar — Johnson, who is 42 years old — out of his home, where he found another man, 42-year-old Shaun T. Kruse, WPTA said.
He said he held the pair at gunpoint and told Kruse to call 911, the station said. The homeowner said his home phone was destroyed, and his cell phones were stolen before he could call for help, WPTA reported.
Kruse is on the left in the below Facebook post; Johnson is on the right.
What happened the day before?
The homeowner told police the same four people came to his home Saturday aggressively demanding money, the station said, citing court documents.
Turns out he knows Johnson — the third burglar — as she occasionally stayed with him over the last decade, and she had been messaging the homeowner about needing $3,000 because “some bad people thought she had stolen it from them," WPTA reported.
The homeowner told police he had only $65 cash on him Saturday, which the group took, the station said. He added to police that they wanted him to go to the bank and get money, continuing their threats, but eventually left because his bank was closed Saturday, WPTA said.
Kruse admitted to police that he drove Johnson, Morefield, and Moore to the victim's home Saturday, the station said, citing court documents. Kruse added that while they were there, Morefield and Moore engaged in a confrontation with the homeowner in an attempt to get money from him, and Morefield was the aggressor, WPTA said.
Kruse said all four of them got together later Saturday and discussed going back to the victim’s house to get more money and take his car and other property, the station said.
When the foursome returned to the home, Morefield was “talking about being gangster over and over," Kruse told police, WPTA reported. Morefield also told Kruse to get in the driver’s seat while he and Johnson and Moore entered the home, the station said.
Kruse said the three began bringing stolen items to the car, but shortly afterward the homeowner came out with a shotgun and told Kruse to call 911, WPTA said.
Police added that Johnson admitted to being at the home both days and said that she was trying to get her items from the home, the station said.
Kruse and Johnson are charged with two counts of murder and burglary with a deadly weapon, WPTA said. In Indiana, people can be charged with murder if a death takes place while they're committing a felony — even if they didn't actually do the killing, WPTA reported in a separate story. Indiana State Police are investigating, the station added.
The homeowner is not facing criminal charges at this time, police told WPTA.