INDIANAPOLIS – Dorean Petty isn’t accused of shooting 19-year-old Rodney Hanley, but he’s charged with murder in connection with his friend’s August 2022 death.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Petty and Hanley were armed when they entered a gas station at 922 N. Delaware St. on Aug. 21, 2022, and confronted a man who was also armed, resulting in a shooting that left Hanley dead and two others injured.
Petty, who turns 23 on April 29, is charged with murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and unlawful carrying of a firearm.
While court documents indicate Petty didn’t shoot Hanley, Indiana law has a provision in which a person who commits a crime can be charged with murder if someone dies in the commission of that crime. Robbery—one of the charges Petty faces—is one of the circumstances in which that provision applies.
Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers were dispatched to the gas station around 12:20 a.m. on Aug. 21. They found Hanley had been shot; two other people shot during the incident were reported as walk-ins at area hospitals.
According to court documents, a man had gone to the gas station to buy cigars when Petty and Hanley, both armed, confronted him. The man was at the checkout counter when he saw the two out of the corner of his eye.
They exchanged words; the man at the checkout counter drew his gun and kept it at his side. The man said Hanley then tried to to grab his firearm, leading him to open fire.
Surveillance video from the store appeared to show Hanley reaching for the man’s gun; Hanley returned fire and was hit during the exchange. The man was also shot, as was a bystander.
The man told police he didn’t know Petty or Hanley and had never seen them before. A gas station employee told police the two were frequent visitors, although they “never came into the gas station with their guns out like that before,” according to court documents.
Hanley’s guardian said Petty called him after the incident to tell him Hanley had been shot.
Surveillance video showed Petty stayed with Hanley until police arrived. He then left, later telling police during an interview that he didn’t stay to talk with officers because he was scared. He was also a felon in possession of a firearm, having been previously convicted of theft in Hamilton County.
Petty was already in police custody when a detective spoke to him in January 2023, as he’d been arrested in a different case. Investigators used cell phone records and surveillance video to connect him to the shooting.
Petty, who told police he threw his gun in a trash can after the incident, said he and Hanley had been smoking marijuana before they went to the gas station. They “entered the gas station with their guns out because they always entered gas stations with their guns out,” he said, according to court documents.
Petty said he never saw Hanley reach for the other man’s gun, contradicting surveillance video and the statement from the man involved in the incident.
Petty had his initial hearing last week. He’s next due for a pretrial conference in July ahead of his jury trial, which court records indicated is scheduled for the same month.