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Armed customer traded gunfire with robbers at Indianapolis Burger King

Posted at 3:18 PM, Oct 11, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Five teenagers – two legally adults – walked into a west side Burger King last week wearing masks and armed with guns, planning on robbing the store. Instead, they found themselves in a firefight with an armed customer.

A probable cause affidavit filed Friday in Marion County Criminal Court 1 lays out the charges against 19-year-olds Antonio Cowherd and Mikel Kendrick and their three juvenile co-defendants (who RTV6 isn't naming due to their minor status), including the alleged crime spree that saw them hit at least nine businesses last week before their arrest.

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The attempted robbery that would lead to their arrest began with Cowherd and two of the juvenile suspects entering the Burger King at 5199 W. Washington Street wearing masks and hoodies. The two juveniles were armed with firearms, though Cowherd was not.

One of the juveniles pointed his gun at the employee working the register and demanded that she open the drawer.

At that point, a customer – who told police he'd seen the suspects putting on masks and going into the Burger King and felt the employees' lives were in danger – entered the store with his own firearm and commanded Cowherd and the two juvenile suspects to "get down."

According to the probable cause affidavit, one of the juvenile suspects then turned toward the customer, who fired five shots at him. The juvenile suspect fired one shot in return and then dropped the gun as he ran out of the store.

The juvenile suspect who fired the shot received a bullet graze wound to his right arm. It was the only injury reported in the incident.

The other juvenile suspect armed with a gun also dropped his firearm as he fled the business.

Police found all five suspects riding in a Ford F-150 on the 4100 block of Kessler Boulevard a short time later. Inside the vehicle were hoodies, masks and gloves matching the ones described in previous robberies.

Upon their arrest, four of the suspects reportedly confessed to police their involvement in at least nine robberies and attempted robberies between October 3 & October 5, including at the Citgo gas station at 7239 W. 10th Street, the Speedway gas station at 3510 S. Meridian Street, and the Valero gas station at 8009 W. Washington Street less than an hour before they attempted to rob the Burger King.

During the Valero robbery, the suspects reportedly held two female clerks and a male clerk at gunpoint. One of the female clerks told police the suspects approached her, demanded she stand up and then grabbed her by the neck and put a gun to her head. The other clerk also said the suspects held a gun to her head as they demanded the drawers to the cash registers be opened.

The suspects got away from the Valero with approximately $880 from the gas station and $200 from the male customer's wallet.

All five suspects face felony counts of armed robbery, kidnapping and attempted armed robbery in connection with the case. One of the juvenile suspects faces an additional fifth felony charge of attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon.