Employee at Indy apartment complex arrested for murder following deadly shooting inside vacant apartment

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Alejandro Leon Barroso

INDIANAPOLIS — An employee at an apartment complex on Indy’s far east side is accused of murder.

The killing took place this week at the Spanish Oaks apartments near 38th and Mitthoeffer.

According to court records, after the shooting the suspect walked into the apartment complex’s office and confessed to his manager that he killed someone.

That manager quickly called police who arrived and found the suspect still on scene.

The shooting took place inside a vacant apartment, which is still under construction.

When officers arrived Monday afternoon, they found a man who had been shot at least five times dead on scene.

The accused killer, 57-year-old Alejandro Leon-Barroso claimed the victim Oswaldo Cruz-Lopez used a homophobic slur several times.

After he asked the victim to stop, the suspect claims the victim punched him in the face and jumped on top of him, forcing the suspect to shoot in self-defense.

“Indiana has the broadest and most used self-defense law in the country. We are a stand your ground state,” said attorney Jack Crawford.

Attorney Crawford isn’t connected to the case, but he’s dealt with many self-defense cases and admits it’s a common claim made by murder defendants.

“The reason it’s used so much is because defendants can say, ‘Looking back I didn’t act rationally, but at the time I thought this man was going to hurt me,’” said Crawford.

In this case, the affidavit explains how police think the evidence at the scene contradicts the suspect’s story.

The court records details, “There were no signs of a struggle… the suspect did not have any injuries to his face or arms. His clothing was not torn or disheveled.”

Crawford says the law is clear about when someone can and can’t use deadly force.

“It always has to be reasonable force. You can’t shoot someone with an AK-47 because they slapped you in the face. It has to be commensurate with the degree of the assault,” said Crawford.

After being taken into custody, the suspect refused to talk to police.

It’s still not clear if the victim also worked for the complex.

The suspect remains behind bars in the Marion County jail without bond. He’s due in court on Friday.

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