Man shot, killed two who forced their way inside
INDIANOLA – A teenager arrested in connection with an Indianola home invasion that turned fatal late Monday night is expected to be arraigned today on formal charges in Vermilion County Circuit Court.
The 17-year-old, whose name has not yet been released by Vermilion County sheriff's authorities, was the getaway driver for two other men, another 17-year-old whose name has not been released, and a 22-year-old identified as T.L Moore by Sheriff Pat Hartshorn.
The two men forced their way into the home of Max Taylor, 307 S. Vermilion St. in Indianola, at about 11 p.m. Monday.
Hartshorn gave the following account of the incident:
Armed with a shotgun, wearing masks over their faces and carrying rope, the two men knocked on the door of the Taylor home. When Taylor, 58, a former part-time police officer, answered the door, the two men shoved their way inside.
The men had Taylor on the floor, strangling him, and were demanding money and the location of a safe when Taylor's wife, hearing the commotion, came downstairs and told the men she had expensive jewelry upstairs. While they were focused on the jewelry box, Taylor got his handgun. The man with the shotgun pointed it at Taylor, who opened fire, shooting the man several times.
The second man fled to the basement, and Taylor pursued, shooting him several times as well.
Police later arrested the 17-year-old getaway driver still in the truck, and he was held Tuesday on preliminary charges of home invasion until formal charges are filed today by the Vermilion County State's Attorney's Office.
According to Vermilion County court records, Moore had multiple misdemeanor and felony convictions. In 2005, he was convicted of misdemeanor battery; in 2006, he was convicted of possessing a firearm in public and sentenced to 1 year conditional discharge; later in 2006, he was convicted of burglary and sentenced to four years in prison.
Hartshorn said the results of his investigation will be turned over to the state's attorney's office, but "we haven't found anything in our investigation that (Taylor) did anything other than comply with the law."
Taylor and his wife were taken to Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Monday night where Taylor was treated for injuries to his neck and cuts to his face and released.
Indianola Mayor Donnie Turner said Taylor, who's known as "Mickey" around town, has been a part-time police officer in Indianola for 33 years, many of those years serving as police chief. He had just retired from his part-time position as chief in May, Turner said.
Hartshorn said Taylor also has worked as an officer in Westville and Ridge Farm. He said the three young men were living in a rural area east of Georgetown, and according to sheriff's investigators, one had recently been hanging out with a friend at a neighboring house in Indianola.
Turner said Indianola has a new part-time police chief, Tom Kirby, and another part-time officer who work a total of 80 hours a month. Neither of them were on duty Monday night.
Turner, who was born and raised in Indianola, said the small town of about 350 people has never experienced anything like this.
"It was a bad situation that went worse," said Turner, who fielded phone calls from residents, some of whom asked if they should be concerned.
Turner said he stressed to people that he and the village board will discuss whether the hours of their two officers should be increased, but otherwise, he just wants people to use common sense and has been telling people that they should call 911 if they suspect anything out of the ordinary.
"That's what (police) are here for," he said.
Donetta Mosier has lived in Indianola for many years, and although she was very surprised by Monday night's events, she doesn't feel any less safe in her small town. News of the shooting prompted several relatives and friends to call and check on her Tuesday and encourage her to lock her doors.
But Mosier said she feels safe and was just shocked at the young age of the suspects.
"It's a tragedy," she said.