News and Tribune

May 25, 2013

ISP continues murder investigation in Harrison County

No arrest made, no suspect considered at-large

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

HARRISON COUNTY — Indiana State Police are continuing to investigate the murder of Joe Johnson, 35, of Louisville, who was shot in a Ramsey home Monday, May 20.

Officials from ISP and the Office of the Harrison County Prosecutor’s Office have stated that Johnson and his girlfriend are believed to have been the only people in her home at the time of his death, but no charges have been filed.

“At this current juncture, there is a person of interest who has been questioned,” the county’s prosecutor, Otto Schalk, said Friday, adding that he did not want to release the possible suspect’s name before ISP completed its investigation.

Schalk said troopers are conducting a thorough investigation and are continuing to gather information and evidence.

“We want to make sure we do it right the first time,” Schalk said of issuing charges. “We do not want to rush the investigation and come up with anything wrong.”

Schalk said he was hesitant to provide too much information pertaining to the investigation at this time.

“I don’t want to say anything that would jeopardize the investigation,” Schalk said, saying the investigation remains in its infancy.

He said investigators do not believe the deadly shot was self-inflicted, and while a murder suspect is not in custody, the people of Ramsey should not be concerned the unidentified shooter is a threat to their community.

It remains unclear if any charges will be filed, as Schalk said he will determine the proper steps to take once the state police files its report with the prosecutor’s office.

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Johnson was pronounced dead in his girlfriend’s home at 1365 Ind. 64. about 9:30 a.m. May 20 after ISP responded to a 911 call. The woman was found on the front porch of the home when authorities arrived.

ISP previously reported that Johnson is believed to have been shot during a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.

An autopsy was completed the day after the shooting at the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office. The preliminary autopsy results determined Johnson died from a single gunshot wound from a handgun to the chest area, ISP reported.