Merrillville shooting victim was a 'perfect child'

2013-04-03T17:45:00Z 2013-04-04T14:52:05Z Merrillville shooting victim was a 'perfect child'Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Depree Mims had many aspirations for his life.

The 14-year-old Pierce Middle School student was looking forward to trying out for the Merrillville High School football team next year. He also was practicing to be on the dance team at the Greater Destiny Bible Church in East Chicago, said his father, Depree Dalton.

Mims won't have a chance to live out those goals after shots were fired March 27 into his home in the 7500 block of Marshall Street.

Mims was shot in the head while he was gathering a blanket to watch a movie with his family. He died from his injuries Friday, police said.

The motive of the shooting remains unclear, but investigators have information that it was a gang initiation, Merrillville police Detective Ray Smith said.

Kevin Brown, 18, Matthew Knight, 16, Anthony Addison, 22, and Joshua Addison, 21, were charged Saturday with murder and criminal gang activity in connection with the shooting.

Brown and Knight are from Merrillville, and the Addison brothers are from Gary, police said.

Knight told police Brown wanted to join the Gangster Disciples, a gang to which the Addisons allegedly belong, court records state.

The Addisons had Brown shoot at the house for a gang initiation, according to records.

Police received information that a member of the gang was previously robbed, and they thought the person who committed the robbery lived in the Mims home, Smith said.

The shots fired into the home weren't intended for Mims, Smith said.

The murder weapon hasn't yet been recovered.

The shooting wasn't a random act of violence, police said. They continue to investigate the case and ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the Police Department at (219) 769-3531.

When he was asked if there are additional suspects in the case, Merrillville police Detective Cmdr. Robert Wiley said the department is working with the Lake County prosecutor's office.

Wiley said the neighborhood in which the shooting occurred isn't a troubled area for the Police Department. He said the area has received additional patrols since the shooting.

Dalton also said his neighborhood is quiet.

"That's why we moved here," he said.

He said his son's death has been tough on his family and he is trying to stay strong for them.

"It hurts real bad," he said.

Smith described Mims as "a well-mannered and respectful young man."

Dalton said his son was a "perfect child" who enjoyed spending time with his seven siblings.

"He was just a good kid," his father said.

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