Authorities ID victims in Sawmill Saloon shooting that witnesses say started as fight over girl

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – More details are coming to light about a shooting that left two men dead and three others wounded outside a crowded bar on the east side of Indianapolis.

The victims of that violence have been identified as 50-year-old James Ratcliffe and 24-year-old Deron Gray.

“He’s such a good person, his heart is so good," said Nicole Davis, a long-time friend of Ratcliffe, "I believe he was probably just helping.” Nicole Davis, Friend of James Ratcliffe, CMI 1134_01

Police are trying to figure out who is responsible for the deaths.

Officially, police have not released a motive for the killings, but friends and witnesses say the shooting started as a fight over a girl.

Hearing gunshots, one neighbor grabbed his cell phone and captured the chaotic aftermath.

That witness, who asked not to be identified, says one man opened fire then tried to run away sparking a wild shootout.

“As he was running away, one of the guys returned fire and hit him. He fell down and he laid there and they exchanged gunfire for a few seconds,” said the witness.

After jumping that neighbor’s fence and running down an alley toward Sherman, the alleged shooter was taken into custody.

At least five people were shot, including a security guard, but witnesses say it's a miracle more people weren't killed.

“It was crazy. There were tons of people out here. Anybody could have gotten hit,” said the witness.

Teddy bears, balloons and candles litter the outside of the business, which has remained closed following the shooting. The owner was not available for comment, but neighbors say violence at the Sawmill Saloon is not unusual.

“People are always out here fighting. On the weekend, it gets really busy,” said the witness.

In this case, investigators say the fight started inside the bar and spilled out into the parking lot. Right now, police are trying to figure out who fired the first shot.

Neighbors still can't believe something as trivial as an argument over a girl left the two men dead.

“It’s just crazy that people resort to shooting each other. I guess they’re scared to fight anymore. I don’t get it,” said the witness.

Davis said it's time for everyone to put down their guns and resolve problems peacefully.

“Bullets don’t have any eyes so," said Davis, "you never know who the bullet may hit.”

So far, no arrests have been made in the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

 

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