Update 9:28 a.m.
The press conference has been moved to 12 p.m.
Thomas Smith’s sisters remember him as an athlete and as a former marine who was trying to overcome what they would only call “mistakes.” Smith is one of four people killed inside a stone house in southern Bartholomew County.
By Monday, police had barricaded the area and the town was overrun by news trucks, reporters and photographers. Still, authorities had not given much information to the families of the victims, so Tracy Smith and Cindy Rickman, who had driven 12 hours from North Carolina, were left to remember their brother as someone big-hearted.
“He would help the kids around the neighborhood, he would take them fishing. Kids that’s never been fishing before in their lives,” Rickman says. “Bought them fishing poles, fix their lures. And he’d give them to them,” Smith says. “And it wasn’t like ‘Oh, you can use this for the class and then give it back,’ it was ‘Okay, that’s yours to take home’ or else he’d just leave the fishing police on the front porch and they’d have no idea where it came from. But they kind of knew where it came from, you know?”
County coroner Larry Fisher says he and Sheriff Mark Gorbett will host a 10 a.m. news conference Tuesday offering more details.
Fisher confirms the four victims were shot to death, but could not say with what kind of weapon or ammunition. Police on the scene Monday had no comment on the case.