CROWN POINT — A Hobart man was charged Wednesday with eight felonies alleging he used an assault-style rifle in a drive-by shooting over a woman early Monday near the entrance to Rohrman Park in Schererville.
Kendell J. Ransom, 19, is accused of shooting two 19-year-old Lansing men after Ransom's teenage friend texted one of the victims to ask why the victim was communicating with the teen's girlfriend.
The woman later told police she dated the teen and the victim, but didn't want to be in a relationship with either of them, according to court records.
The teen and the 19-year-old victim agreed to meet in Schererville to settle their dispute, and Ransom was there on behalf of the teen, Lake Criminal Court records allege.
The 19-year-old man drove from Lansing with three other people in his car, followed by a female driver with two others in her car and two individuals in a van, records say. The group arrived at the location, but left when they found police had stopped two vehicles at that address, records say.
The group stopped at the BP gas station at U.S. 30 and Burr Street, where one of the witnesses received a text message saying, "You ever seen a sniper shoot?" court records state. Another witness received a message directing them back to the address they had just left.
Witnesses told police the man who had planned to fight the teen boy was bothered by the message about a sniper and decided to leave. As they drove, they noticed two cars following them, court records state.
The 19-year-old driver and the female driver pulled their vehicles into Rohrman Park, where they watched the two cars circle around and approach them. As a red car passed by, the driver's side window came down and a man began firing an assault-style rifle at them, court records say.
The 19-year-old who had planned to fight the teen and another 19-year-old in a female driver's car were both shot multiple times. They were taken to Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point and later transferred to University of Chicago Medical Center.
Police recovered 19 spent .223-caliber bullets from the scene, court records say.
One of the victims identified Ransom as the shooter in a photo lineup, according to records. Another witness told police Ransom's mother drives a red car.
Ransom was taken into custody Tuesday. His bail was set at $100,000. Online court records did not list an attorney for him or show the date of his initial hearing.
He's facing one count of felony aggravated battery, two counts of battery by means of a deadly weapon and five counts of attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon.
Schererville police Cmdr. Jeff Cook said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges against others involved in the shooting are possible.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Cook or Detective Matt Djukic at 219-322-5000. To remain anonymous, call 219-865-4646.