INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said it was the death of 7-year-old Eve Moore that affected him the most as he announced four murder charges Thursday against the man accused in last weekend's quadruple homicide.
"I think everybody asks the same question about the 7-year-old: 'Why?'" Mears said. "She didn't have anything to do with the stimulus check. She didn't have anything to do with the money, and she lost her life. And if that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will."
Malik Halfacre, 25, is accused of killing Eve Moore, along with Dequan Moore, 23, Anthony Johnson, 35, and Tomeeka Brown, 44, during an argument over a stimulus check Saturday night at a home in the 300 block of North Randolph Street on the east side of Indianapolis.
Mears said the case qualifies for the death penalty because there were multiple victims, the fact that a robbery took place during the killings and because a child was killed. He added he will discuss the procedures involved in a death penalty case with family of the victims before moving forward.
"As you can imagine, they're not in a position to have that discussion," Mears said. "They're still trying to process what has occurred to deal with their own personal grief and loss. I told them, 'We are on your timeline. When you're comfortable, we're more than happy to have that conversation with you. But I want to make sure they're in a position and I want to make sure they're ready."
Mears discussed the wide-ranging effects the killings have on the community. The loss affects the victims, the families, the neighborhood and the schools, he said.
"I think about all the kids who were in that class with this young child, and they've lost a classmate," Mears said. "I can't even imagine the amount of grief that family is going through, the kids in that class are going through and the adults in this situation who don't have good answers for what happened, either.
"It's this entire community for a very senseless act of violence. It's not only frustrating, but how many young people do we have to see lose their life?"
Halfacre was also charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, carrying a handgun with a prior felony conviction within the past 15 years and auto theft, according to court documents.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were initially called to a home in the 250 block of North Randolph Street around 8:18 p.m. Saturday on a report of a woman who was shot. She was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition.
During their investigation, detectives were led to another home in the 300 block of North Randolph Street. When they arrived at 9:14 p.m., officers found four victims inside the home. All four were pronounced dead at the scene with suspected gunshot wounds.
While investigating the quadruple homicide, detectives learned a 6-month-old baby was also missing from the residence. They idenified Halfacre as a possible suspect and the last person to have had contact with the infant. IMPD issued a missing child alert, and Indiana State Police declared an Amber Alert several hours later.
Detectives found the baby safe and unharmed with an unknown person early Sunday.
On Saturday afternoon, investigators were directed to a home in the 6200 block of Eastridge Drive where they were told Halfacre was likely hiding. Following an hourslong standoff, SWAT officers entered the house and arrested Halfacre, who was found hiding in the attic.
According to court documents, Halfacre told investigators he was arguing with his girlfriend, who survived, because he wanted some of her stimulus money before he opened fire on the family.
Halfacre told detectives that after he shot everyone inside the house, he took the money, his girlfriend's purse and her car before leaving the scene, according to court documents.
Halfacre's girlfriend had a restraining order filed in the court system against him. According to the terms of the restraining order, Halfacre was not allowed to be at the residence on North Randolph Street or in contact with the woman at the time of the shootings.
Spike in domestic violence killings
The Randolph Street killings were the latest in a recent surge in deadly domestic violence cases in Indianapolis.
About an hour before the shootings on Randolph Street, IMPD officers found a 23-year-old woman shot to death at a home in the 4400 block of Lickridge Court on the southeast side. A 7-year-old child was declared missing before he was found safe early Sunday.
Marco Pacheco-Aleman, 28, was charged with murder on Thursday, according to court records, in the case that police said was related to a domestic issue.
In one of the worst mass shootings in Indianapolis history, Raymond Ronald Lee Childs III, 17, allegedly killed four members of his family, his brother's girlfriend and her unborn child following an argument on Jan. 24 at a home in the 3500 block of Adams Street.
According to statistics from IMPD, there have been 11 domestic violence homicides in Indianapolis in 2021. That is compared to 13 such incidents in 2019, and 19 in 2020.
"These numbers represent homicides related to domestic violence between intimate partners and any victim killed during the same incident," a statement from IMPD said. "This does not include all incidents in which the victim and suspect are related."
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor talked about the increase in domestic violence homicides during a news conference on Monday.
"We cannot afford to become a community that's afraid to ask or seek help when we need it. Domestic violence is real," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said. "It is evident from this weekend's tragedy that domestic violence affects both adults and children, but we must speak up and request help before we get to this point."
IMPD Deputy Chief Craig McCartt also noted on Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic has created more stressors that have led to instances of domestic violence.
"Sometimes, in the home, people are spending more time together, kind of being trapped there in the home together, than they have before," McCartt said. "There are resources out there and we encourage anybody out there who might be living in any kind of domestic violence situation to reach out and get those resources that they need."
Domestic violence resources
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are organizations in Central Indiana that can help:
- Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-332-7385
- Crisis and Suicide Intervention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233); 1-800-787-3224
- National Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474
- Coburn Place: (317) 923-5750 or text to (317) 864-0832
- Julian Center: (317) 920-9320
- Beacon of Hope Crisis Center: (317) 731-6140
RELATED | The Latest: What we know about the quadruple homicide on Randolph St. | Fight over stimulus check led to quadruple murder, according to court documents | Survivor of Indianapolis quadruple homicide had restraining order against suspect | Vigil honors lives lost by domestic violence days after quadruple homicide
Watch video from Mears' news conference below.