Indy man gunned down trying to break into neighbors home may have suffered medical issues

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4 Fast Facts

  • Police investigate fatal shooting inside east side home
  • Investigators said a man entered through a back door before being shot
  • A man, a woman and an 11-year-old child were inside the home
  • Police said family was cooperating with investigation

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man is shot to death while trying to break into his neighbor’s home.

The attempted break-in took place at a home on Bosart Avenue just before 6 a.m.

With an intruder at their back door, the people who live inside the home called police after gunning down their neighbor, believing he tried to break into their home.

“My heart just hurts.  My heart hurts,” said April Brunson.

April says her friend James Neal, 53, also known as “Wolfman,” had no intention of committing a home invasion.

Police found Neal unarmed and naked in the victim's kitchen.

“If I'm going to rob somebody, I wouldn't strip all my clothes off and go rob my neighbor across the street who I had seen just 8 hours ago,” said Brunson.

“Wolfman was definitely not no thief.  He was no robber.  He always used tell me he couldn't stand a liar and a thief,” said friend Thomas Jones.

Thomas considers Neal his best friend.

He and April both believe Neal suffered from a medical issue and didn't realize where he was at the time.

“We know he suffers from seizures and fell and hit his head and was completely undressed,” said Brunson.

“Currently this is very active and ongoing investigation,” said IMPD Capt. Richard Riddle.

According to detectives, the husband confronted Neal with a shotgun, and the two struggled over the weapon.

The wife got a second weapon from another room and also confronted Neal. During the struggle, both residents fired their weapons fatally wounding Neal.

The man and woman, and their 11-year-old daughter, were unharmed. The couple cooperated fully with Homicide detectives and were released after questioning.

“Our homeowners are cooperating fully,” said Riddle.  “They are on scene.  They've handed over everything our detectives have asked them at this point.”

As much as they loved Wolfman, Neal's friends don't fault the victims for pulling the trigger, knowing the husband, wife and 11-year-old girl were likely terrified for their safety.

“It’s five or six o’clock in the morning and someone is jangling your door.  Anyone would do what they did, especially in day and age we live in,” said Jones.

“They don't know what  was happening.  It's five in the morning and they're trying to protect their family and they shot him twice,” said Brunson.

Police say they're still investigating exactly why Neal had been trying to enter the home.

An autopsy could help determine if he had any health issues at the time.

 

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