Jared T. Robbins, 22, of Cloverdale is in custody, accused of shooting to death Donald E. Lowe III, 28. Robbins is lodged in the Putnam County Jail, preliminarily charged with Class A felony voluntary manslaughter, Putnam County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Tyler Turner said.
The shooting occurred at the Burma Road residence of Robbins' cousin, Billy Robbins, 44.
Billy Robbins was also arrested, as he was released from prison recently into a community transition program and is still technically an Indiana Department of Corrections inmate. He was sentenced in Putnam County in February to an 18-month prison sentence for conspiracy to commit theft and receiving stolen property.
An eyewitness to the shooting, who made the 911 call and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Jared Robbins shot five to seven rounds at Lowe. She said she and Lowe hadn't been at the Robbins residence for more than 10 or 15 minutes when the shooting happened.
"I don't know how many actually hit (Lowe)," the eyewitness said. "I know I saw two wounds to his chest, but there was so much blood everywhere."
The eyewitness, who had known Lowe for about two years, had never met Billy or Jared Robbins before. She said Billy Robbins tried to convince her to tell police she hadn't seen who shot Lowe, but that she refused to lie.
"Billy took the gun and wiped off the fingerprints," the eyewitness said. "While I was calling 911, everyone else was in the house getting rid of guns and booze and cleaning up the messes. I just want it known that Donny was attacked. This was not a case of self-defense at all.
The eyewitness said she and Lowe had been invited to Billy Robbins' house, and that they arrived there late Saturday night. She and Lowe went into the house and were offered beer, she said, and then Billy Robbins asked Lowe and the eyewitness to go to the store and buy hard liquor, as "the Jared guy had drank it all."
When she and Lowe went to leave and make the liquor run, the eyewitness said, Jared Robbins "came out of nowhere and attacked Donny."
The eyewitness said she and Billy Robbins couldn't tell for sure if the two men "were play wrestling or seriously fighting," but that it soon became apparent they were not playing.
"Donny got Jared into a headlock to stop the fight and calm him down," the eyewitness said. "Donny kept saying, 'Are you OK? Are you cool now?' Jared said he was, and Donny let him go."
At that point, the eyewitness said, Jared Robbins walked over to his truck and got a handgun.
"He walked, he didn't run," the eyewitness said. "He just pointed the gun at Donny, and it was pop, pop, pop."
The eyewitness said she ran and hid behind a picnic table, fearing that Jared Robbins would shoot her as well. Instead, he dropped the gun and attempted to get into a car and drive away.
"He was really drunk," the eyewitness said. "Another girl who had come out of the house with a baby convinced him to scoot over and let her drive. He did, and she threw the baby in the backseat and took off. Donny's head was really close to the tire of the car they got into, and I just begged her to be careful and not run over him."
Once Jared Robbins was gone, the eyewitness said, she made the 911 call.
Putnam County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Doug Nally said by the time officers arrived at the scene, Jared Robbins had already fled.
Within an hour of the shooting, an off-duty officer saw Jared Robbins driving eastbound on I-70, Nally said. The officer called for more units, and Robbins was apprehended near the Hendricks-Putnam county line.
Lowe was pronounced dead at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, Nally said.
Jared Robbins had just been released from prison in July. He was sentenced in Putnam County Circuit Court in March 2009 to a 2 1/2-year prison term for Class B felony burglary. In January, he was sentenced in Marion County to one-year concurrent sentences for felony criminal recklessness and intimidation.
The Putnam County charge stemmed from an October 2008 case in which Jared Robbins admitted to breaking into a shed on private property in Cloverdale with the intent to steal all-terrain vehicles. Robbins was never able to post bond, and was in jail from the time he was arrested on Oct. 14, 2008 until he was released from prison in July.
Lowe was out of jail on bond at the time of his death, charged with Class B felony burglary, Class D felony theft and two counts of Class D felony auto theft.
Turner said a time has not been set for Robbins' initial hearing, but he expects it to take place sometime Monday.
Class A felonies are punishable by up to 50 years in prison.
The incident is still under investigation. Officers from the Putnam County Sheriff's Department are being assisted by representatives from the Indiana State Police.