BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Escalating tensions and online taunts involving rival gangs led to a shooting that killed a teenager in Hendricks County in December, police said.
Freddie Hegwood, 17, died following a Dec. 15, 2020, shooting in the area of 10273 Haag Rd. in Brownsburg. The shooting happened around 3 p.m.; police said Hegwood was sitting in a red Jeep Compass when shots were fired from a Chevy Impala.
Hegwood was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis but later died from his injuries.
Investigators found spent ammunition casings, both .223 and .40 caliber, at the shooting scene. There were numerous bullet holes in the Jeep, and several bullets passed through a home north of the shooting scene, according to court documents.
Hegwood’s passenger told police that they were sitting in the Jeep when a black passenger car pulled up and started shooting. The passenger wasn’t hurt, but investigators noted that he “came within inches of being shot himself.”
An investigation into the shooting showed Hegwood was involved in a feud with members of a rival gang who often exchanged insults and, at times, threats, according to court documents.
From the probable cause affidavit:
These individuals are affiliated with the Indianapolis gang, Insane Money Gang (IMG), and a smaller gang within the IMG known as 4 Eva Solid or Davo Gang. Hegwood is affiliated with the Indianapolis gang Kutthroats (KTG) or Gordo Gang and a smaller gang within the KTG known as MBK (My Brother’s Keeper). KTG and IMG are rival gangs that have been involved in numerous documented incidents in the Indianapolis area committed against each other.
Charged in connection with Hegwood’s death were Kamarion Moody, 17; Jeremy Perez, 17; Antonio Lane, 17; and Tyreontay Jackson, 18. All are charged as adults.
Lane is in custody at the Hendricks County Jail with no bond.
The Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding the remaining three fugitives, who are still at large.
Before the shooting, police said Hegwood was on Instagram Live; comments in the video included “the fact that someone could see Hegwood, they are going to shoot him right now” and Hegwood and his passenger “are going to die right now, and they are going to send Hegwood to meet Jesus.”
Investigators learned that Hegwood had been involved in social media and text message feuds in the days leading up to his death. Police traced social media screen names to phone numbers that led them to the individuals charged in the shooting.
Police were also able to track the Chevy Impala through both its temporary license plate and its permanent plate; the car was registered to Moody’s mother. When police searched the car, they swabbed for DNA and gunshot residue. In addition, they located .223 ammunition casings in the dash vent; one of the casings matched those found at the shooting scene.
Before the murder, Hegwood had posted a video outside a residence where Moody used to live and also sent Moody a blurry photograph and asked if “that was where Moody’s girlfriend lived,” according to court documents.
Moody and Hegwood engaged in several Instagram video calls, police said, in which they taunted one another.
Police later searched Moody’s phone, which turned up several references to Hegwood’s shooting, including nicknames for Hegwood, that were part of rap lyrics. Moody also rapped the lyrics in a video police found on the phone.
Three days after the murder, Moody, Lane and Perez took a Greyhound bus to California, police said.
An Instagram post from Perez implicated him in the murder, police said. The post showed Perez with a .223 magazine with rubber bands or tape; other posts showed the same .223 magazine in an AR pistol.
“Ask bro I caught the last opp in his dukes whip (laughing emoji) Dummy (kiss emoji),” one of the posts read.
As investigators noted in the probable cause affidavit, “opp” refers to “opposition,” “dukes” means “mother” and “whip” means car or vehicle. Essentially, Perez was saying people should look at what happened to the last person who crossed him.
Perez’s phone also had references to Hegwood and a video of Perez, Moody, Jackson and Lane posing with firearms at a Shell gas station. The weapons included Glock pistols, which fire .40 caliber ammunition, and AR-style rifles, which fire .223 ammunition.
An analysis of cell phone data placed Jackson near the scene of the shooting around the time it happened. Messages dating back to August 2020 showed Jackson feuding with Hegwood. Lane, who’d also feuded with Hegwood, was also in the same area at the same time, according to cell phone data.
Investigators believe all four were in the Impala, followed Hegwood from a Marathon gas station to the Haag road location where they started shooting. Investigators believe the suspects also knew Hegwood had a passenger in the car and that the passenger was “next on the ‘dead list.’”
Charges in the case include murder, attempted murder and criminal recklessness.
Brandon Randall is the engagement director at Voices Corporation, which offers youth leadership and community outreach programs. He has had some of these teens in his classes.
“We get to see these young people in a whole different light than the rest of the world is going to see them now,” explains Randall, “They are not defined by those decisions there is room for intervention. A lot of people would look at me and say I am making excuses, obviously you have to be held accountable. The problem for some people is, in our community that’s the end of the conversation. That does not define their total humanity, and I need people to understand that.”
Voices has a “Power & Promise” youth leadership and civic engagement training program starting June 14. The event is for people ages 13-24. On May 15, they will out on “Inside Out” a healing retreat for parents, guardians, and children who have been through trauma. For more info on how to register you can contact Randall by email at BRandall@voicescorp.org.
Anyone with information on whereabouts of Jackson, Moody or Perez is asked to call the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at 317-745-9354.