CPD: 4 shot at Lincoln Park, suspect now in custody

Mike Wolanin | The Republic Columbus police officers search for evidence after four people were shot on the basketball court at Lincoln Park in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, May 23, 2023.


Columbus police say they have a suspect in custody in the shooting of four people at Lincoln Park at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday night.

Check back for more details here on this developing story.



Four people were shot in what witnesses described as a drive-by shooting at the basketball courts at Lincoln Park at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday night.

Columbus Regional Hospital said Tuesday night that three of the victims were in “very critical” condition and were being transported to Indianapolis trauma centers Tuesday night. The fourth victim was awaiting admittance to the hospital and was listed in stable condition, according to hospital officials.

Columbus police were searching a roughly 50-yard oblong area encompassing the basketball courts searching for shell casings and other evidence Tuesday night.

Two young men who were watching a game at the baseball diamonds say the softball game was interrupted when five shots were audible in rapid succession near the ball fields. The baseball diamonds are in front of the basketball courts, separated only by green fencing and a walkway leading to the Hamilton Center Ice Arena and 25th Street, part of the park which is open to the public throughout the evening.

Gavin Edgecomb, Columbus, an IU student home from campus in Bloomington, and Simon Grooms, Columbus, were watching Grooms’ father play softball when they heard the shots.

They said at first they thought it might be fireworks, but when some of the 40 people watching the game began running from the area, they believed it was gunfire.

Both were told the shots were a drive-by shooting as other people nearby said they saw a vehicle leave the scene, although there were varied descriptions as to the vehicle and who was in it. The victims were a group of young men, playing a “shirts” and “skins” basketball game at the courts, they said.

Three young men, believed to be in their 20s, shirtless, were laying on the ground near the green fencing with other basketball players who were not injured attempting to assist them by using towels to stem the bleeding, Edgecomb and Grooms said. A fourth player who had been shot was further away nearer to the batting cages.

One of the victims was shot in the ankle, one in the elbow, one in the leg, and one of the victims who was immediately Lifelined was shot in the leg or the side, they said. There were two or three other basketball players who were not injured trying to help them, they said.

Hamilton Center was initially placed on lockdown and then evacuated, police said. The facility was full of people at the time of the shooting, police said.

Columbus Police Chief Michael Richardson, who was at the scene Tuesday night, said an incident like this is “very rare” in Columbus, although it is not the first instance for the community. He and Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman, noted that the park is a safe park and normally there are not issues there.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Columbus Police Department at 812-376-2600. Tips may be left anonymously.