Monroe County man accused of shooting, killing man who lived in his garage
MONROE COUNTY, Ind.– A Monroe County man was arrested in connection with a deadly shooting at his home.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 3800 block of Knightridge Road, east of Bloomington, early in the morning on Jan. 24.
The body of 43-year-old James “Mike” Troxal was found and he had suffered a gunshot wound to his chest. Police say three people told them Troxal was living at the home for the last two weeks, in a garage on the property.
Police say Troxal came into the house to get a drink, and then left. Soon after he left, the three people told police they heard a “loud boom.” They looked outside and saw Troxal staggering toward the house.
The home belongs to Garry Hicks, 62, and his common-law wife Sandra Ritter, 59. A neighbor was also visiting the home at the time of the shooting.
As police conducted their investigation, they said the neighbor who was in the home left at one point during the morning for a doctor appointment. She called dispatch a few minutes later to say a shotgun was found in her car. Police collected it.
They determined Hicks had recently become worried that someone was trying to rob him. He would reportedly patrol his property at night with his shotgun.
Those interviewed by police said Hicks seemed to have declined in mental capacity recently.
Police say Troxal was returning to the garage and Hicks was outside when Hicks mistook Troxal as a robber and shot him.
Charges haven’t been filed, but Hicks is expected to be charged with murder and being a dangerous felon in possession of a firearm. He has previous convictions for aggravated assault with a weapon in 1995 and 1999. Police said a photo of Hicks was not available.