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Court doc: Man says fight will be 'handled in the streets' before shooting auto shop employee

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Posted at 9:05 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 21:05:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A man told an officer a fight at an auto shop "will be handled in the streets" before he came back an about hour later, fired shots at the shop and left an employee critically wounded after they were struck by the gunfire, according to court documents.

A man got into a fight with an employee around 11:15 a.m. on May 4 at an auto shop near North Keystone Avenue and East Fall Creek Parkway North Drive, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The man told an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer an employee struck him in the head and eye and caused him pain when they responded to the shop to take a report after the fight, according to the affidavit. A detective later learned the man was threatening employees and "started swinging" at the employee first.

When officers told the man, James Norwood, 45, of Indianapolis, a detective would be in contact with him in the future, he was upset, yelled at the officer, walked to his car and yelled several times "it will be handled in the streets," according to the affidavit.

A little more than an hour later, around 12:35 p.m., IMPD officers were again called to the auto shop when an employee was struck in the chest by at least one of the bullets Norwood fired when he drove by the shop, according to the affidavit. The employee wasn't working yet when the fight took place earlier in the day.

The employee was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in critical condition. They spent five days in the hospital after they suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung, according to the affidavit. The bullet also chipped their spine, which may cause complications in the future. The bullet is still in their back.

On Tuesday, IMPD announced they arrested Norwood Friday in connection with the incident.

When Norwood later spoke with a detective, he told the detective he got into an argument with an employee at the shop and was struck in the head with an impact wrench, but denied shooting into the business.

He was formally charged Monday by prosecutors with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, battery by means of a deadly weapon, criminal recklessness and felon carrying a handgun, according to online court records. A jury trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 4.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to report tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477) or online.