Indiana man charged with killing 4 after stimulus argument

Rick Callahan
Associated Press

Indianapolis – An Indianapolis man was formally charged with murder Thursday in the killings of three adults and a child he allegedly shot to death after he and a former girlfriend argued because he wanted a share of her federal COVID-19 relief money.

Malik Halfacre, 25, faces four counts of murder, one count each of attempted murder, armed robbery, auto theft and other charges in Saturday’s killings, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said.

This undated photo provided by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department shows Malik Halfacre.

Halfacre allegedly shot a woman, who is the mother of his 6-month-old daughter, critically wounding her, and fatally shot four others inside a home where officers found the bodies of Anthony Johnson, 35, Dequan Moore, 23, Tomeeka Brown, 44, and 7-year-old Eve Moore.

Mears said that while the case “breaks your heart” the toughest part for him as a father of two young children is Eve Moore’s killing.

“I think everyone asks the same question about the 7-year-old: Why? 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,” he said at a news conference.

Mears said that the night of the killings Halfacre allegedly had “a very spirited discussion over stimulus money” with a woman his office said he is believed to have once been in a relationship with before he left the home and then returned armed with a firearm and the argument resumed.

“During the course of this argument that continued over the stimulus money there is an allegation that he did begin to remove money from our victim’s purse and during the course of this an altercation occurred which resulted in people being shot,” Mears said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Halfacre, who was arrested Sunday after being found in the attic of a friend’s home, told officers that after shooting everyone in the home, he took the money, the surviving woman’s purse of and her car, and left the scene with their 6-month-old daughter.

The baby was later found unharmed at the home of Halfacre’s sister, according to the affidavit.

Halfacre appeared for an initial hearing Thursday morning, where a judge advised him of his rights, ordered him held without bond and appointed a public defender for him. Messages were left Thursday morning with Halfacre’s attorney seeking comment on her client’s behalf.

After Halfacre shot his ex-girlfriend, she fled the home and went to a nearby location, where police found her after receiving a 911 call about a person shot. She was taken in critical condition to a hospital, where Mears said she told police about the shootings and that there were other victims in the home.

“We were very fortunate that she was able to escape and survive what occurred,” he said.

Mears said the case is eligible for the death penalty because there were multiple victims, a robbery allegedly occurred and a child was killed. He said his office would be meet with the victims’ relatives to discuss that option before making a decision on whether to pursue the death penalty.