'A friendly face': Bystander Susie Warden has 'long road to recovery' after being shot

A man has been arrested in connection with a shooting Monday on the north side of Indianapolis that injured a bystander working inside a hardware and gardening business.

Marqueses Tipton, 27, is facing charges of aggravated battery and two counts of criminal recklessness in the shooting. Gunshots were reported just after 3:15 p.m. at East 71st Street and North Keystone Avenue. A minute later, police were told a person had been shot.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers found a 64-year-old woman with a gunshot wound at Sullivan Hardware & Garden, in the 7000 block of North Keystone Avenue, and in line with where the gunshots were reported.

The injured woman was identified by a family member as Susie Warden.

Susie Warden
Susie Warden

Warden was listed by police as being in critical condition after being struck by a bullet in the left temple and eye.

“Thankfully, she is currently in stable condition, but has a long road to recovery,” said the woman’s son Martin Bryan Gray in a message to IndyStar. “Her life has definitely been altered by such a senseless act of violence. She has lots of family and friends that will help her in her recovery moving forward.”

Car crash and shots fired on Keystone Avenue

Several people in the area said they saw a car crash involving a Chrysler van and a Lexus LS4 in the southbound lanes of North Keystone Avenue. Tipton told investigators that a silver SUV struck the driver's side of his van, causing the crash.

He told officers all three vehicles drove to a nearby gas station, but the SUV began to leave and he thought he saw a gun in the driver's hand and felt threatened, so he shot at the vehicle. He then got into his vehicle and left the gas station to find the driver, Tipton told police. After being unable to find the SUV he returned to the gas station.

A woman who told officers she was not involved in the crash said she witnessed the collision and drove her Mazda into the gas station. She told police she saw the driver of the van get out and begin yelling, and as she was leaving the gas station parking lot, she heard shots being fired. She told her 9-year-old to get down after realizing the gunshots were aimed at her vehicle. Police said she believes her vehicle is similar to the one involved in the crash, which is why she was targeted. She later returned to the parking lot and officers pointed out her Mazda had been struck.

Surveillance camera footage also helped police build their case for an arrest, according to a preliminary probable cause affidavit.

'Just be kind': Sullivan's manager responds to shooting

The Yellow House section of Sullivan Hardware & Garden at 6955 North Keystone Avenue on the northeast side of Indianapolis.
The Yellow House section of Sullivan Hardware & Garden at 6955 North Keystone Avenue on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

Becky Betz, general manager of Sullivan Hardware & Garden, said her employees and customers didn’t realize anything was going on across the street until the shooting took place.

“We were innocent bystanders in it all in that a stray bullet came our way,” Betz said. “We were unlucky.”

Customers and fellow employees provided aid to Warden until police and emergency medical services arrived.

The Yellow House where Warden was working is in the garden section at the back of the store and is used as a gift shop. Warden has worked at the store for close to two years.

"She is a great employee,” Betz said. “Everyone loves her. People that come in and shop at the Yellow House all know who she is. She's a very friendly face and a great person."

Betz and others at the hardware store are in touch with the injured woman’s family at the hospital and are committed to helping her any way she needs, Betz said.

For Betz, whose grandfather opened the hardware store in 1954, and other employees at the store, the shooting has left them shaken.

"Just be kind to people,” Betz said. “We feel safe in this neighborhood, but anything can happen at any time. Someone's anger has impacted a very innocent person just doing her job. We are all pretty sad about it.”

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will determine final charges.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Aaron Ramos 317-327-3475 or Aaron.Ramos@indy.gov.

Contact Sarah Nelson at 317-503-7514 or sarah.nelson@indystar.com. Contact Jake Allen at jake.allen@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jake_Allen19. 

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indianapolis shooting: Police make arrest in hardware store shooting