By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The area around Sonny Ray’s Bar is rapidly becoming one of Anderson’s most dangerous hangouts.
For the third time in a month, police responded to a shooting there early Saturday morning.
When officers arrived, they found 24-year-old J’ Arius Beck of Anderson shot and mortally wounded in the bar’s parking lot, said Anderson Police Department spokesman Detective Joel Sandefur.
Beck was transported to St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital where he later died of his wounds.
Madison County Coroner Marian Dunnichay said it appears Beck died from a single gunshot, but a final determination will be made at an autopsy scheduled to be performed this morning at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.
Sandefur said investigators interviewed a number of witnesses following the 1 a.m. shooting and had identified a person of interest. No arrests had yet been made late Saturday, however, and the case remained under investigation.
“We’re still trying to find out what led up to the shooting,” Sandefur said.
On April 14, police responded to another shooting in the parking lot of the bar at 1503 Madison Ave.
According to police, Tyrone A. Smith, 26, of Indianapolis was shot three times.
When officers first responded, they weren’t able to locate Smith. They later found him on foot suffering from gunshot wounds in the 1600 block of Ceder Street about a block west of Sonny Ray’s.
Smith was treated locally and later flown by a medical helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.
On April 6, police responded to another shooting at the bar. In that case, Orlando D. Blount, 37, of Anderson, was shot in the neck near his shoulder, police said at the time.
Alphonso Graves, 47, also of Anderson, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder in connection with Blount’s shooting injuries.
Police say the area around Sonny Ray’s has Anderson’s second-highest crime rate.
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