The Herald Bulletin

April 6, 2013

Anderson man faces attempted murder charge

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. —  One man is in police custody and another is recovering in an Indianapolis hospital after a bar shooting early Saturday morning.

Alphonso Graves, 47, of Anderson, faces a charge of attempted murder for allegedly shooting Orlando D. Blount, 37, of Anderson, at about 2 a.m. at Sonny Ray’s Bar in the 1500 block of Madison Avenue, said Anderson Police Department spokesman Joel Sandefur.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a uniformed officer and a deputy prosecuting attorney who were in the area and watching the bar alleged they witnessed the incident. They told detectives that Graves, who was working as a bouncer at Sonny Ray’s, got into a physical scuffle with Blount while trying to remove him from the bar.

The witnesses said they watched Graves push Blount out of the building and onto the sidewalk, walk up to Blount and shoot him with a handgun while he was lying on the ground.

According to the report, Blount suffered a gunshot wound to his neck near his shoulder, was transported to St. Vincent Anderson and later airlifted to St. Vincent Indianapolis on 86th Street. A doctor who treated Blount told police she believed the bullet struck a lung and didn’t exit Blount’s body. She described the wound as “seriously life-threatening.”

Sandefur said on Saturday afternoon that Blount was in critical condition.

Graves was arrested quickly after the shooting and was questioned by detectives. He told police he was fighting with Blount but denied having or firing a handgun, according to the affidavit.

Graves has a long criminal history and is well-known by the Anderson Police Department, Sandefur said.

According to public record, Graves pleaded guilty to battery in 1996 and was convicted of theft with an additional habitual offender status charge in 1999. He is also awaiting trial on two separate incidents that happened within days of each other in 2012. Graves was charged with battery with a deadly weapon and pointing a firearm on July 22. He was charged with two more counts of battery with a deadly weapon on Aug. 6. The trial is set for June 27.

Sandefur said the area of the shooting is a high-crime location and has been for some time. It rests in the city’s Sector 4, the second-highest crime district by numbers.

“There have been a number of incidents like this before. It goes back a long time in that area and on that street,” Sandefur said.

Sonny Ray’s was closed Saturday afternoon, and attempts to reach the establishment were unsuccessful. Patrons and employees of Style House Barber Shop next door declined to give their names, but said they had not heard about the shooting and they’ve never felt unsafe in that neighborhood.

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