INDIANAPOLIS – Police are confident they have arrested the triggerman in the shooting of a pregnant bank teller, who later lost the twin girls she was carrying.
But they've made arrests in the case before, only to discover they were on the wrong trail.
This time, detectives say they believe the crime is solved with the arrest Friday of Brian Kendrick, 29, on preliminary charges of attempted murder, robbery and two counts of feticide for the deaths of the twins. Police also arrested Aaron Stewart, 28, on conspiracy to commit robbery charges for allegedly helping Kendrick.
Katherin Shuffield, 30, was five months pregnant when she was shot in the abdomen April 22 after a gunman jumped over her bank station during a robbery at a branch of Huntington Bank on the city's east side. She lost the fetuses two days later.
Indianapolis police said they wasted valuable time in the days that followed chasing down leads given to them by Shed James Jr. Police later discovered James' account of the crime was inaccurate and released three men arrested in connection with the robbery. James was sent to jail for 180 days after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of false informing.
Police Chief Michael Spears said Friday that authorities had an obligation to pursue all leads and tips. A probable cause affidavit expected to be filed Monday when formal charges likely will be brought would reveal more details, he said.
"I think it will allow you to have that same sense of confidence that I have," Spears said of the document.
Authorities said they did not know whether Kendrick or Stewart had attorneys. Both were jailed pending the formal charges.
Detectives got new tips on the case last week and brought Stewart in for questioning, during which he implicated Kendrick, police said. Kendrick did not make a statement about the robbery and shooting, police said.
Detective Rob Challis said he did not know why Kendrick would have shot Shuffield. Police left messages to try and contact the Shuffield family about the arrests, but said they may be out of town. The Associated Press left a message on an answering machine at a number for Katherin and Jason Shuffield, who live in Franklin.
Deputy Police Chief William Benjamin said more than 400 officers worked the case.
"We did not leave a tip unturned," he said.
Current Indiana law allows prosecutors to charge people with murder in cases where a fetus dies, but only if the mother is at least seven months pregnant.
Kendrick would face a possible prison sentence of 20 years to 50 years if convicted of attempted murder. The killing of a fetus — or feticide — charges each carry possible sentences of two years to eight years.
Authorities said they are not yet sure whether Kendrick or Stewart will face federal charges, which are possible in bank robberies.
No other people are being actively sought in the case, although a search continues for the gun used in the shooting, police said.