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16-year-old Whiteland HS student killed in Greenwood shooting that prompted school lockdowns

Posted at 7:42 AM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 18:14:53-04

GREENWOOD — A 16-year-old boy who was a sophomore at Whiteland Community High School was killed in a shooting early Thursday that prompted school lockdowns and lockouts, police say.

Police sources told WRTV a suspect was located as of 11:18 a.m.

As of a press release from the Greenwood Police Department at 4:30 p.m., an arrest had been made stemming from the shooting.

The shooting happened in a neighborhood and not on school property, law enforcement officials told WRTV. It happened in the area of Winterwood Drive and Providence Drive, which is in Summerfield Village on Greenwood's south side.

Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matthew Fillenwarth said the teen was shot several times at a school bus stop and later pronounced dead. Investigators believe he was targeted, Fillenwarth added.

Other children were also present when the shooting happened, including a sibling of the victim, police said.

The teen had just transferred to Clark-Pleasant Community Schools Corporation, Fillenwarth said.

The victim's family identified him as Temario Stokes Jr.

Temario's mother, Tiera Ervin Montgomery, told WRTV she heard the shots being fired and came outside to see her son lying on the ground shot.

"You didn't have to do my baby like that. You took my heart right out of my chest. I hope you find peace within yourself," Montgomery said. "My baby was just a beautiful person that's gone too soon."

Several law enforcement agencies are involved in the search for the suspect, including Indiana State Police, which had helicopters in the area of the shooting, officials said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also assisting in the investigation.

Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess said schools in the vicinity of the shooting were locked down "as a precaution" as police work to locate the suspected shooter. This included all public and private schools in the area.

In a Tweet, Greenwood Community High School said it was placed on lockdown "due to an incident in the community, but not on the school campus."

The school later said the situation was downgraded to a lockout instead of a lockdown. That means exterior doors will remain locked and students won't be able to leave rooms without approval or an escort.

As of 9:02 a.m., the school was on a level 2 lockout, which means it was following bell schedules and moving students between classes. However, students still need approval or an escort to leave the building.

It's not yet clear if that's true for all other impacted schools.

Clark-Pleasant Community Schools Corporation provided the following statement:

It is a sad day for The Clark-Pleasant school community. It is with a heavy heart that we report that one of our high school students has died after being shot near his bus stop earlier this morning, near US 31 and Worthsville Road. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and also to his classmates and teachers at Whiteland Community High School.

Greenwood Police are handling the investigation, interviewing witnesses and searching for the suspect near the scene. Clark-Pleasant Police Department is securing all of our school buildings today and extra officers have been brought in to assist.

Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation will bring in additional mental health/grief counselors to help students deal with this tragic incident as needed. We will have more information on the investigation as we get it.

Montgomery told WRTV her son was a selfless and outgoing person.

"My baby would help everybody (and) anybody. He loved helping out the older people. Those were his people," she said. "You could be angry and he'd light up the room. You could be sad and he could make you smile. He'd make you laugh."

The teen's father, Temario Stokes Sr., said his son had aspirations of starting a landscaping company.

"All he wanted to do was build his landscaping company. That's all he talked about. Landscaping, landscaping, landscaping. 'Daddy, get me on the lawn mower; let's do some landscaping.'"

Temario Jr. was the oldest of three siblings, his parents said.

This story will be updated.

WRTV Reporter Rafael Sanchez contributed to this report.