Shooting at Ball State University Party House Leaves 7 Wounded

By (Tarpley Hitt)
Scott Olson

A shooting at a house Muncie, Indiana near Ball State University, left at least seven people wounded, three of them in “life threatening condition,” authorities told reporters Saturday morning. One of the victims was transported by air ambulance to a hospital in Indianapolis.

“At about 12:45 a.m. last evening, we received a call of shots fired at an address just off of campus at Ball state University,” Muncie Chief of Police Joe Winkle told the Daily Beast. There was a house party included a DJ. It had attracted some Ball State students but also local kids from Muncie.”

At some point in the evening, there was a confrontation. Several shots were fired inside the house. The home, which sits on the 2400 block of Euclid Avenue in Muncie, had been rented or leased by several Ball State students, authorities said. There were between 50 and 75 people at the party.

“We interviewed between 25 and 35 witnesses. Some just heard the shots, some others had better detail,” Winkle said.

At around 12 p.m. Saturday, Muncie Police arrested a young man named Vashaun Harnett. Police could not confirm Harnett’s age. They charged him with two counts of attempted murder. Harnett admitted to firing some of the shots, citing self defense. “One of the victims, we did not charge him with [that one] because of self-defense,” Winkel said. “But there were other victims that we believe were not attacking him.”

Muncie Police said they did not believe the shooting to be an act of domestic terror or hate crime-related incident.

“This was a couple of guys who had some issues in the past, maybe with their families, who ran into each other at this party,” Winkle said.  

The individual airlifted to Indianapolis is in stable condition, authorities told the Daily Beast. There are two victims at a local hospital in intensive care. Two have been released with minor injuries. Two are staying the night at a the hospital, but have no major injuries.

"I’d like to commend all of the officers responding for a great job dealing with a extremely difficult and dangerous incident," Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler told RTV6 Indianapolis. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Our law enforcement will do a thorough investigation and hopefully justice will be served for the victims."

Vice President Mike Pence landed in Muncie not long after the shooting on Saturday morning. He had come to deliver the commencement speech at Taylor University. In a tweet Saturday, Pence offered condolences to the victims.

“Landed in Muncie, IN this morning and was briefed on last night’s shooting,” Pence wrote. “I commend law enforcement for their quick response. My prayers are with the injured and their families. God bless them all.”

Winkle said the incident was an uncommon occurrence in the small Indiana city of around 70,000.

“We don’t get a lot of calls there, certainly these kind of calls,” Winkle told RTV6 Indianapolis.  “But I think anytime you have a DJ and you get word out there that there’s a party there, you are gonna draw a bunch of different people from all over town. So I think that’s probably what’s happened.”

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