UPDATE (8/31/2023): Justin Bonner was officially charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Level 4 felony.


MUNCIE, Ind. — The Muncie Police Department announced a second arrest has been made in connection to the July 30 shooting that left one person dead and 18 people injured.

MPD confirmed Justin E. Bonner, 29, was arrested Monday afternoon on an outstanding arrest warrant and preliminary charges of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.

The mass shooting resulted in the death of Joseph Bonner, 30, during a block party that lasted late into the morning hours of July 30 at the intersection of Hackley and Willard Streets. The gathering was meant to celebrate a Muncie Homecoming Celebration that brought former Muncie residents and visitors together.

Booking photo of John L. Vance. Courtesy of Delaware County Jail.

John L. Vance was arrested by MPD on Aug. 1 in connection to the shooting on three felony counts. Vance has not been charged with murder.

Investigators said the early investigative process kept bringing up two names in connection to the shooting: John “Bubby” Vance and Justin E. Bonner, the victim’s brother.

According to court records, Justin admitted to officers that he pulled out a Glock handgun and fired at Vance during the block party on July 30. Bonner told investigators he did so out of self-defense after he “witnessed Vance pull out a handgun and shoot his brother Joseph Bonner.”

During the interview, Justin also reportedly told officers that Vance pointed his firearm toward him after shooting his brother and had to fire back in self-defense.

The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office will review the case and determine if any formal charges will be filed.

“The investigation into Joseph Bonner’s death and the events of July 30 is rapidly
evolving and ongoing,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman. “This is a wide ranging investigation that includes, but is not limited to: the homicide, the shooting, injuries sustained by a victim from being hit by a vehicle, as well as violations relating to hosting loud and late night parties. It will all take time to complete and is far from over.”