MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A prosecutor filed a gun conviction Monday against a Muncie man charged with two counts of heavy battery in connection with a shooting that killed one person and wounded 17 others at the power station. city of Indiana.
The sentence increase filed against John L. Vance Jr., 36, could add five to 20 years to his total sentence if convicted, Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said.
Vance is also charged with criminal recklessness and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
Hoffman has acknowledged that the charges against Vance do not specifically reference the July 30 shooting death of 30-year-old Joseph E. Bonner III of Muncie.
The shooting occurred at a neighborhood party in the city about 60 miles northeast of Indianapolis attended by hundreds of revelers as police called the owner of the venue to close the gathering, authorities have said. Bonner was among those in attendance, said Muncie Police Chief Nathan Sloan.
Police were aware that the owner of a company that periodically rents space for events hosted a block party that “got out of hand,” with between 500 and 1,000 in attendance, Sloan said. Photos from the scene showed police tags marking what appeared to be dozens of bullets on the street.
Police were not on the scene at the time of the shooting, just after 1 a.m. Sunday, but they tried to get the business owner to end the party, Sloan said.
“We called the owner and asked him to shut things down. The streets were packed. Before we could make contact and get anything done, before we could get that closure, the gunfire erupted,” Sloan said at a news conference a day after the shooting.
Sloan described a chaotic scene as officers and first responders arrived at the site on Muncie’s east side.
“Our people were busy applying turnstiles, administering first aid, providing CPR. And they rushed people to the hospital in our squad cars because we didn’t have time to wait,” Sloan said.
After the shooting, police had to separate people in the parking lot of a Muncie hospital who were arguing, and officers had to clear a path at the entrance to the hospital for anyone needing medical attention to enter, Muncie deputy police chief said Melissa Criswell.
Vance, who was arrested Aug. 1, was still in jail Monday under $105,000 bond. Online court records listed no lawyer for him.
Hoffman also filed the documents necessary to request that Vance be declared a habitual offender, which could lead to a longer sentence if convicted of the pending charges.
The Muncie man’s file includes convictions for dealing cocaine or any narcotics, resisting law enforcement, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, battery, domestic battery, and false information.