FISHERS, Ind. – Fishers police arrested three Indianapolis teens after an 18-year-old was shot last week.
The shooting took place around 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 near State Road 37 and East 131st Street. The victim was found behind Which Wich sandwich shop and taken to an area hospital in critical condition. Police identified him as 18-year-old Jose Gomez.
The shooting in Fishers left Gomez paralyzed from the chest down.
Prosecutors say 17-year-old Alan Mendez masterminded the robbery and shooting and single handedly pulled the trigger, but all three teens are now facing serious felony charges in Hamilton county. All three are being charged as adults.
"It's really sad you have a victim who is young and his life is forever changed and these three young boys, their lives are very much changed as well," said Hamilton county chief deputy prosecutor Andre Miksha.
Miksha says the shooting started as a drug deal that ended when Mendez shot the dealer in the neck.
During the confusion, prosecutors say 18-year-old Ivan Jeronimo, who drove the suspects to the scene in a car that was later reported stolen, dropped his phone on the ground next to the victim where police found it.
Police believe 16-year-old Alex Lopez stayed in the back seat the whole time.
Although Mendez and Lopez are both underage, state law allows teens 16 and older to be automatically treated as adults.
"Because the defendants are 16 and 17 and 18. The 16 and 17 year olds are charged with crimes that are directly filed into adult court," said Miksha.
After the shooting the trio of suspects are accused of driving to a pond in Carmel to ditch the gun.
According to court records, Jeronimo and Lopez told police, “Alan pulled a handgun and tried to rob the marijuana seller, but ended up shooting him after a struggle.”
Jeronimo then led police to the pond to help recover the gun.
Despite their cooperation, prosecutors say the two accomplices share some blame in the crime.
"They played a role in it. It wasn’t their hands on the trigger, but Jeronimo drove the car and there were discussions there was going to be a robbery," said Miksha.
Charges against Mendez include attempted murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, armed robbery, aggravated battery, dangerous possession of a firearm, theft and carrying a firearm without a permit. He also faces an enhancement for use of a firearm.
Charges against Jeronimo include robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, aiding, inducing or causing; robbery armed with a deadly weapon, aiding inducing or causing; aggravated battery, aiding, inducing or causing; and theft, aiding inducing or causing.
Lopez is charged with robber resulting in bodily injury, aiding inducing or causing; robbery armed with a deadly weapon, aiding, inducing or causing; aggravated battery, aiding inducing or causing; and theft, aiding inducing or causing.
Mendez remains behind bars on a $1,000,000 bond. Lopez is being held on a $250,000 bond and Jeronimo is being held on a $100,000 bond.