The Herald Bulletin

May 8, 2013

Police still probing fatal bar shooting

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Police are still investigating a fatal shooting near Sonny Ray’s Bar early Saturday morning.

The incident, which claimed the life of 24-year-old J’Arius Beck of Anderson, was the third shooting in a month near Sonny Ray’s. According to Madison County Coroner Marian Dunnichay, Beck died of blood loss from a bullet wound. Anderson Police Department spokesman Joel Sandefur said no arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified yet.

“We’re still working on it, but don’t have much yet,” Sandefur said.

Sandefur had said there were a number of people in the area when the shooting happened, and police needed somebody with information to step forward.

Anderson is divided into five districts for police alignment, and the district Sonny Ray’s falls into has the second-highest crime rate in the city.

On April 14, officers responded to another shooting in the parking lot of the bar.

According to police, Tyrone A. Smith, 26, of Indianapolis, was shot three times then. He was treated locally and later flown by a medical helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

On April 6, Orlando D. Blount, 37, of Anderson, was shot in the neck near his shoulder outside the bar, police said at the time.

Alphonso Graves, 47, also of Anderson, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder in connection with Blount’s injuries.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said the corner near Sonny Ray’s has been the site of many shootings. He estimated there have been about 100 shooting investigations in that area since the 1950s.

“Unfortunately, it’s not all that unprecedented to have three shootings in the same area there in a month,” Cummings said.

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