Deadly shooting in Columbus preceded by neighbors reporting disturbance, vandalism

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Neighbors say a loud disturbance involving several broken windows came shortly before a weekend shooting that left one man dead.

Columbus police say they responded to the shooting shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday in the 2000 block of Home Avenue. Arriving officers found one man, now identified as Derek Henderson, inside the home.

“The homeowner reported to law enforcement officers that he was confronted by an unknown person with a baseball bat inside his home,” a Columbus Police Department statement said. “The homeowner reportedly discharged a firearm a short time later, striking the man.”

“The man was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital by paramedics, where he was pronounced deceased,” the statement continued.

The Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office said a Sunday autopsy revealed Derek Henderson, 38, died from gunshot wounds to the head, chest and abdomen. Toxicology tests are still pending.

Investigators have not released the name of the man who shot Henderson.

Neighbors on Home Avenue say Henderson lived just two blocks away from where the shooting happened. Minutes before the shooting, several neighbors say Henderson walked up and down the street with a baseball bat, smashing windows on several cars and homes.

“Everyone always says it’s like a quiet neighborhood,” said neighbor Mike McGinity.  “This is probably like one of the quietest and to have that happen is super crazy.”

“I’ve been here 20 years and nothing like this have ever happened,” said Steve Rohlfing.  “And hopefully nothing like this will happen again.”

Kiersten Pool, who lives two doors down from Henderson’s home, said she awoke Saturday morning to her dog barking at loud noises outside.  She looked outside and saw Henderson appearing highly agitated.

“I think he was yelling at himself,” Pool said. “I stood on my porch to kind of see if there was somebody else involved in the situation and I didn’t see anybody else.”

“He was saying the F-word, and then I heard shattering so that’s when I kind of knew something was up,” Pool continued.

Pool and other neighbors say they’ve never noticed any problems involving Henderson in the past.

“He’s been nice to us, he waves at us,” Pool said.

An employee at nearby Tipton Lakes Athletic Club confirmed Henderson had worked there as a fitness trainer at one time. The employee did not know how recently Henderson had been employed at the club.

Neighbors say an ambulance and police went to Henderson’s home at least once on Friday, hours before the shooting.

Home surveillance video from across the street shows what appears to be a moving flashlight outside the home where the shooting happened.

The video, from 12:51 a.m. also shows a person running down the sidewalk toward the house where the shooting happened. Another person is seen standing next to a car parked in the street one house down.

“Scary that something’s happened that close to where I live, you know,” said neighbor Ali Taulbee. “But these things happen and it’s really sad for everybody involved.”

The circumstances of the shooting are being investigated by the Bartholomew County Death Investigations Team. Prosecutor Bill Nash leads the investigative team. Nash’s office had no additional information to provide Monday, saying the case is still being reviewed.

No arrests or charges had been announced as of Monday evening.

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