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Friday, April 25, 2008

Latest on Indy Bank Teller Shooting

Bank teller's unborn twins died

Tragic developments in the shooting of a bank teller. Both of Katherin Shuffield's unborn twins have died.

Katherin Shuffield was five months pregnant when a bank robber shot her in the stomach during a robbery Tuesday morning at the Huntington Bank on 21st and Post.

24-Hour News 8's Mary McDermott was with the babies' grandmother when she learned the sad news. Although the bullet missed the twins, surgeons had to remove a section of Shuffield's intestine and her appendix. Shuffield first lost one of her babies then the other.

Greta Wagers was too shaken to talk about the tragedy. A good friend spoke for her.

Judy Bullock said, "She's really takin' it bad. And the only reason why I'm over here is to stick beside the family and my friend Greta."

Katherin's husband Jason released a statement:

"On behalf of our family, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and concerns regarding Katherin's condition. While Katherin remains in critical but stable condition, we are sad to announce that our twin babies died late Thursday night. Katherin's recovery is our top priority and she continues to receive the best possible care. Her comfort has been aided by her mother, a native of Peru, South America, who was granted a tourist visa from the U.S. Embassy to help us during this very difficult time. We will update the media at a later date and ask for privacy as we recover.

We appreciate the community's collaboration with law enforcement as they continue to investigate this case, and encourage anyone with relevant information to come forward."

Marion County Prosecutor news conference:

"Clearly when we have the shooter, we will be looking at what the appropriate charges will be based upon the death of these two babies," said Marion County Deputy Prosecutor David Wyser.

Wyser said it won't be manslaughter because Katherin Shuffield was only five months pregnant and her fetuses wouldn't have been considered viable under Indiana law.

Legally in Indiana, fetuses aren't considered able to survive outside the womb until the seventh month of pregnancy. Feticide is one potential charge in this case.

"This isn't something we're just going to jump into. We have to fully analyze it, investigate it and make sure that we understand all the facts before we make a charging decision," said Wyser.

Police release four men arrested in bank shooting

Three of the men arrested in connection with the robbery walked free and a fourth man now faces charges for lying to police.

The man told police on Wednesday he knew everything about the robbery and was in one of the cars headed to the bank. He's no longer charged with conspiracy, instead he's charged with lying.

According to police reports, 25-year-old Shed James told police he helped plan the Huntington Bank robbery. He also provided officers with a list of accomplices.

On Wednesday night, police arrested James and three other men. All faced preliminary charges of conspiracy to commit a bank robbery.

Police later found James' story didn't pan out. Police said James has still not explained why he lied.

Four days after the robbery and shooting, police have little to show. The gunman and as many as five accomplices remain at large. Police continue to press hard as they search for information and leads.

"We're putting the pressure on. We will continue to put pressure on those individuals who we know have violent crime histories and things of that nature," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell of the IMPD. 

The prosecutor's office admits manpower was wasted dealing with Wednesday's four arrestees but officers had to take time to verify James' story.  In the end, innocent men walked free.

"That part is what's good. We're not accusing someone of doing something they didn't do. And we have no evidence to support what they did," said Deputy Prosecutor David Wyser.

"We're far from over as far as closing this case. One, the shooter is still out there. We need any information. Anything that can help us," said Lt. Duhamell.
Police are asking for tips that will lead them to find the gunman. The suspect is described as dark-skinned, 6'1" to 6'2" and weighs around 215 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray jacket, blue jeans, and a blue stocking cap.

Police are asking anyone with information on this crime to call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS. 

A fund in Katherin Shuffield's name has been set up to help the family. Donations can be made at any Huntington Bank location or mailed to the following address.   

Katherin Shuffield Benefit Fund 
C/O Huntington Bank - Main Office 
45 N. Pennsylvania St. 
Indianapolis, IN 46204