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UPDATE: An exposed credit card skimming device may have led to fatal shooting at Merrillville motel according to court records
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UPDATE: An exposed credit card skimming device may have led to fatal shooting at Merrillville motel according to court records

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MERRILLVILLE — Police say a Gary man staying at the Rodeway Inn lost his temper in gunning down another motel guest Thursday after learning he carelessly left a credit card skimming device out for the cleaning maids to see, newly released court documents show.

Victor Young, 40, was charged Friday with murder and resisting law enforcement in connection with the shooting death of Miles Beach, 37, of Gary, at the motel at 6201 Opportunity Lane in Merrillville, police said. 

After the shooting, Young tried to evade police in his girlfriend's vehicle until they were able to initiate a traffic stop at 6128 Broadway in Merrillville, records show. Young was brought in for questioning Thursday night but refused to speak with detectives. 

Police were dispatched at 1:37 p.m. to the motel in reference to a shooting to find Beach lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound and two women kneeling beside him, trying to render him aid.

Several witnesses told police they should be looking for a black Nissan Maxima with tinted windows. When police caught up with Young, he was driving his girlfriend's white sports car. They later found the Nissan abandoned at a parking lot at 1 E. 20th Avenue.

In an interview with police, the motel manager said she knew she "isn't supposed to hang out with customers," but went with Young to a vape/smoke shop on U.S. 30 to buy inserts for her vape cigarette just before the shooting. 

When they returned to the motel, Young began arguing with Beach and another person near the front entrance, for "being messy and leaving things out for the maid to see," court records show. She added that a cleaning lady "came to her with a complaint that there was a credit card skimming machine in Beach's room." 

Police interviewed several witnesses Thursday. One person said he watched from a motel window and saw Young "get a gun from his vehicle, rack in a round, and starting shooting at they guys he was arguing with," before running back inside the motel and threatening to shoot him if he didn't get off the phone. 

As Young fired off rounds, the motel manager ran into the motel to avoid getting shot, court records show.

The affidavit filed in Lake Criminal Court Friday paints the Rodeway Inn as a troubled business that attracts criminal activity and doesn't require photo identification when checking in guests.

Young was reportedly registered under the alias "Charlie Wilson," records show. 

A maid employed at Rodeway Inn told police she knows many guests lie about their name on the guest register, so after the shooting, she swiped two identification cards from Young's room before police arrived, worried the IDs "would disappear" if they were left in there any longer.

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North Lake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting from UIS. Contact her at lauren.cross@nwi.com or 219-933-3206.

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