HAMMOND — A Gary teen died Saturday night in what police are calling a gun deal gone bad nearly a year to the day after surviving an April 2017 shooting.
Police responded around 9:30 p.m. to multiple calls of shots fired Saturday night in the 1500 block of Myrtle Avenue. When they arrived they found two men suffering from gunshots wounds.
Elijah Nolan, 19, of Gary, was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m. at Franciscan Health Hammond. Nolan suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, according to police.*
Derrell McLaurin-McNutt, 20, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and is being treated at an area hospital.
Hammond police detectives report the incident appears to be a gun purchase that went bad. Detectives believe the men met over the purchase of a MAC-10 machine gun when gunfire broke out. The detectives are also investigating the possibility of gang involvement, according to a news release.
Still a teenager, Nolan was listed by the Lake County Sheriff's Department as one of the county's most wanted on their website.
Sought by police
Nolan was charged March 17 in Lake Criminal Court with two counts of armed robbery, misdemeanor battery and two counts misdemeanor theft after allegedly robbing a couple at gunpoint March 16 in Gary's Midtown.
The male victim in the March 16 robbery told police Nolan threatened him with a semiautomatic pistol and punched him during the robbery. He then robbed the man's girlfriend, who was waiting for her boyfriend in their vehicle, documents state.
Nolan was already facing charges in two other armed robberies in Gary from March 8, 2017 and March 18, 2017.
He allegedly escaped from court-ordered electronic monitoring Feb. 1 and had since been sought by police on several warrants.
2017 shooting, arrest
About 6:45 p.m. April 2, 2017, Gary police responded to a report of a gunshot victim in the area of West Fifth Avenue and Clark Road.
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Police reported finding Nolan, then 18, shot twice.
During the investigation, police learned Nolan was wanted on warrants for two robberies and took him into custody, according to police. Nolan could not provide any information at the time about who shot him, police said.
An attempt to turn things around
Four years ago, Nolan was a Gary Roosevelt junior who was placed in a truancy program that appeared to offer the then-16-year-old some hope.
In a June 2014 article in The Times, Nolan was featured as a graduate of Project Rebuild.
The program is a collaborative effort between the Gary City Court and the Gary Police Department to address truancy among Gary students.
At the graduation ceremony, Nolan said the Indiana Parenting Institute, which also is involved in the program, helped him and his mother, Tammy Weatherspoon, to develop a better relationship.
At the time, Weatherspoon said her son missed many days of school before and after his father's November 2013 death following an illness. She said Nolan was an honors student in seventh grade.
"I thought when I sent him to high school, I'd be able to do that without having to check on him as much, but that's not true. He needs me in high school just as much or even more than he did before that," Weatherspoon said.
Nolan wrote a short note for the ceremony, which he read to Gary City Court Pro Tem Judge Inga Lewis-Shannon, addressing her as "Your Majesty."
"I really liked the program, but I hope I don't ever have to come back again," he said.
* Editor's note: This story has been updated from a previous version. Due to incorrect information initially provided by police, The Times inaccurately reported the location of Nolan's gunshot wound. Nolan was shot in the chest, police said.