Tribune staff writer

Kokomo police aren’t releasing the names of suspects in Friday’s fatal shooting, but that’s not because they don’t know who to look for.

Kokomo Police Capt. Don Whitehead said Monday everyone involved in the shooting, which occurred in the middle of the day at the city’s busiest intersection, is now known to police.

“We’re not looking for anybody right now. We’ve identified everyone involved and they’ve all got attorneys,” Whitehead said. “We’re just not ready to say who it is yet.”

If there’s any good news for Kokomo residents it’s that Friday’s shooting wasn’t a random act, he said.

More than seven witnesses were interviewed by police after the shooting, which happened around 3:15 p.m. in the parking and driveway areas just to the east of the White Castle Restaurant at U.S. 31 and Markland Avenue.

The city’s first homicide victim of 2006, DeMarco L. Moore, 24, died at 1:58 a.m. Saturday at Howard Regional Health System. Police said Moore was involved in a gunfight with two individuals, but was the only one shot.

“These two people [Moore and the person who shot him], for whatever reason, had a conflict. It escalated right then and there because they saw one another,” Whitehead said.

Police are still trying to understand why they couldn’t find any shell casings at the scene. It’s possible, Whitehead said, Moore never got off a shot before being hit.

Whitehead said Moore, who was the passenger in a blue, late-model Jeep Grand Cherokee, apparently spotted someone in a black, late-model Lincoln sedan as the Cherokee pulled into the driveway to a strip mall in the 1800 block of East Markland Avenue.

The sedan, Whitehead said, was in the White Castle parking lot at the time. Moore climbed out of the Jeep, gun in hand, and tried to approach the sedan.

He was shot as he crossed the grassy median separating the entrance and exit lanes in the driveway. One senior law enforcement official who spoke with the Tribune Monday said the advantage in such situations is with the individual lying in wait.

Moore underwent an autopsy Monday. Whitehead said police are hoping to learn more about other individuals, who may have been indirectly connected to the shooting, before making any arrests.

He said the Howard County Prosecutor’s Office has the case details. Prosecutor Jim Fleming declined comment Monday.

“There’s a lot of things floating around about the reasons for this,” Whitehead said. “There could be other players.”

Scott Smith may be reached at (765) 454-8569 or via e-mail at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com

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