Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 29, 2012

Kokomo Tribune Year in Review: Top crime stories

Kokomo Tribune

— A downtown shooting spree, a body found in a freezer and escaped convicts from Michigan were among the top crime headlines this year. Some crimes, including the deaths of Hassan Jabree Burnett and Timothy T. Scott, remain unsolved. The following is our ranking of the top five local tales of criminality in 2012.

1. Downtown shooting spree

A two-day shooting spree near downtown in January which left two people dead and two others injured highlighted the year of crime in Kokomo for 2012.

The killings marked the first and second of five homicides in Howard County in 2012.

After the gunfire had settled, Kokomo police arrested 36-year-old Turama Stitts and charged him with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Police believe the two-day shooting rampage near downtown was a random act of violence.

All four victims were shot in the head within a five- or six-block area near downtown.

The shootings began Jan. 26 when police found 64-year-old David Gibson lying unconscious in the street at Mulberry Street and Apperson Way North with a gunshot wound to the head. Gibson died several days later.

The next day police were called to East Taylor Street near the Penny Saver, a convenience store near downtown. There, they found 48-year-old Argena Williams suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Williams died a short time later at an area hospital.

Ten minutes later, officers were

called to the 400 block of North Purdum Street, where they found Miriam Mallory, 40, with a gunshot wound to the head. As police investigated the first two shootings, a third man, Ricky Patterson, 51, was shot in the head in front of several people about 1 p.m. in the 600 block of East Taylor Street.

Mallory and Patterson survived the shootings.

A jury trial in the case is set for Jan. 29.

2. Body found in freezer

In December, Kokomo police charged Walter Logan with murder in the death of 29-year-old Alex Shipp, who was found inside a freezer inside Logan’s residence.

In the basement of Logan’s home on East Elm Street, police said they found the decomposed body of Shipp inside an unplugged freezer.

Logan, 51, told police he killed Shipp after he became belligerent and wanted to fight, according to court documents filed Monday.

Shipp’s mother, Rebecca Wolf, had reported her son missing two days prior stating she hadn’t seen Shipp since Nov. 8, when she dropped him off at an east side convenience store.

Police said it’s possible that’s the date Shipp died.

Logan is being held at the Howard County without bail awaiting a March 19 trial.

Logan told police he used duct tape to bind Alex’s hands and feet and also placed duct tape over his nose and mouth.

Howard County Coroner Jay Price said an autopsy confirmed the body as Shipp’s and ruled the cause of death as asphyxiation.

3. Teen found dead in April

Kokomo teenager Hassan Jabree Burnett, 18, was found early April 13 lying in the intersection of 300 East and 100 North, suffering from a gunshot wound.

The case remains unsolved with the Howard County Sheriff Department.

Capt. Greg Hargrove said Burnett was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Howard County sheriff deputies were called to the area at 4:56 a.m. after receiving a 911 call.

An autopsy showed Burnett died of a gunshot wound, Coroner Jay Price said.

Investigators are trying to determine if Burnett was shot where he was found or shot elsewhere and left in the area, Hargrove reported.

4. Georgia man shot, killed

In June, Kokomo police found Timothy T. Scott, 33, shot and killed in the front yard of a home in the 900 block of East Broadway.

Scott of Stone Mountain, Ga. died of several apparent gunshot wounds to his head and upper torso. The case remains unsolved. His death marked the fifth homicide in Kokomo in 2012.

5. Michigan prison escapees in Kokomo

Two armed and dangerous escaped convicts from Michigan were seen in Kokomo Oct. 4 raising concerns among citizens.

Kenneth L. Grauman II, 32, and Gregory A. Bradshaw, 23, drove to Kokomo in a stolen vehicle after escaping from a Michigan prison.

Kokomo police found the vehicle in the parking lot of Kroger on South Washington Street.

According to police, the two men visited a house on North Lafountain Street, then stole a truck from Defenbaugh and Malfalfa roads.

The fugitives didn’t hurt anyone in Kokomo and were captured a few days later in Colorado.