Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 4, 2014

Teen formally charged as an adult

Jeffrey W. Burns faces attempted murder, burglary charges

A 17-year-old accused of using a stolen shotgun to shoot at people who were in front of his house will be tried as an adult.

Thursday, prosecutors formally charged Jeffrey W. Burns, 800 block of East Gerhart Street, with attempted murder for the Sunday shooting incident outside his home.

Police said Burns used a stolen .20 gauge shotgun to try to kill people who’d come to his house Saturday afternoon looking for a fight.

One man, Devin A. Toole, 19, was treated at St. Joseph Hospital for a shotgun wound shortly after the incident. The wound wasn’t considered life-threatening and Toole was released the same day.

Burns told police he thought at least one individual was trying to force their way into the house and said he fired the gun toward his living room window.

But a neighbor told police the person in question, Christopher D. Arnold, wasn’t trying to force his way into the residence. Police said that testimony was corroborated by a cellphone video taken by Toole.

Arnold admitted going to Burns’ house, banging on the front door, and demanding that Burns come out to fight. Arnold said he could seethrough the front window that Burns had a shotgun.

“Christopher observed Jeffrey holding the shotgun and he told him to put the shotgun down and come outside,” police said in court documents filed Thursday. “Jeffrey responded by saying for Christopher to come inside so he could blow his head off.”

Burns and his mother, Linda Burns, told police Burns fired the gun only after Arnold threw a trash container into the front window.

But Arnold, Toole and a neighbor all told police Burns first fired the gun into the floor of the home.

Arnold said the first shotgun blast “made him angry so he picked up a trash tote and threw it at the window,” and then took off running.

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