Court records: Man arrested after deadly shooting in downtown Indianapolis believed victim was following him

Crime in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is behind bars accused of murder following a deadly shooting outside a downtown hotel.

Hearing a single gunshot Tuesday night, a security guard at the Sheraton hotel ran outside and saw a man on his knees in the street with a suspect standing above him.

That gunman quickly walked away down an adjacent alley, and the victim told the guard he had been shot before passing out and later dying.

Police arrested the suspect just minutes later still holding the murder weapon in the alley.

“This was an unfortunate incident that occurred last night, but this was not a random act,” said IMPD downtown commander Phil Burton.

In fact, according to an affidavit, after police arrested the homeless suspect Dominic Johnson, the 35-year-old told police he believed, “The victim had been following him for three days and someone else told him that the victim was after him.”

It’s not clear if the victim had actually been following the suspect or if the suspect was paranoid, but Johnson did know the victim by name.

Johnson had an active warrant for his arrest at the time of the killing after he allegedly stabbed another man inside the Wheeler Mission downtown in January.

Court records in that case show Johnson was charged with battery, and a warrant was issued but never served.

Despite those two incidents, crime numbers in downtown remain lower than any other district in the city.

“Out of the six districts, downtown still only represents 3% or less of the violent crime in the city, so we’re still pretty safe downtown,” said Burton.

Downtown does have the highest homeless population in the city. That’s why IMPD employs a homeless unit to assist those suffering from mental issues.

The shooting outside the Sheridan marked the first homicide in the downtown district this year.

By comparison, last year saw an unusual spike with seven homicides downtown. There were two homicides in 2019, two in 2018 and three in 2017.

“Unfortunately, we may have a few homicides a year, and one is one too many, so we just want people to make better choices,” said Burton.

The suspect remains behind bars at the Marion County Jail, where he’s being held without bond.

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