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16-year-old charged in connection to October triple homicide

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 10:45:33-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A 16-year-old is facing 14 charges, including murder, in connection to a triple homicide on October 12.

Michael James, 22, Abdulla Mubarak, 17, and Joseph Thomas, 18, all died from gunshot wounds, according to the Marion County Coroner's Office. Their bodies were found in a remote field area in the 4400 block of South Meridian Street near Interstate 465.

Caden Smith, 16, is being charged as an adult, according to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. He was identified as a suspect through his communication with the victims prior to their murders.

According to a probable cause affidavit, more than 50 fired cartridge casings were found near the body of one of the victims.

The affidavit says IMPD SWAT was doing surveillance on the home they were told Smith lived in during the investigation. After making announcements, throwing noise flash diversionary devices and shooting a supersock through the bedroom window that belonged to Smith, a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was used inside the home.

Smith eventually left the bedroom and the UAV followed him through the residence. The affidavit says SWAT Officers attempted to get him to walk out to them and surrender peacefully, but he refused. After several minutes, he walked down the sidewalk in the direction officers directed him but then turned around and started to head back inside.

"IMPD SWAT officers acted quickly and deployed a sock round striking Caden. IMPD SWAT also attempted to tase Caden but this had no effect on him," the affidavit read.

EMS checked out Smith and released him at the scene.

As the investigation continued, preliminary results of forensic testing showed bullets recovered from the victims during their autopsies were all identified as having been fired from a gun found in Smith's bedroom.

Smith faces charges including murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, possession of a machine gun, dangerous possession of a firearm, possession of meth, possession of marijuana and resisting law enforcement.