Two arrested in Lincoln Park shooting, in custody at Bartholomew County Jail


COLUMBUS, Ind. — Columbus police have arrested two young men in connection with what witnesses describe as a drive-by shooting in Lincoln Park at about 7:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Arrested were Alexander Parker, 18, of 512 Pence St., Columbus and Edmarius Oats, 18, of 3464 Old Field Lane, Columbus, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman. Both are being held in the Bartholomew County Jail, according to jail officials.

Columbus police were sent to the park about a report of shots fired, and when they arrived, located multiple people near a basketball court with gunshot wounds. Two young adults and two juveniles suffered gunshot wounds, and all four were taken to Columbus Regional Hospital initially, with three of them eventually Lifelined to Indianapolis hospitals later Tuesday evening.

One of the victims, Gavin Hardin, was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis today, according to hospital officials in Indianapolis.

When the shooting occurred, numerous softball and kickball games were happening on the nearby ball diamonds, and while some people there ran from the scene, others ran to help the victims, using towels to stem the bleeding from the gunshot wounds.

Medical care was administered by the officers as well as firefighters and emergency medical service personnel. Three of the four wounded victims were eventually transported to Indianapolis area hospitals for medical treatment. The fourth victim received treatment at Columbus Regional Hospital.

As a result of information given to investigators, area law enforcement officers began looking for a vehicle and its occupants who were suspects in the shooting. On Tuesday night, officers from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office observed a vehicle believed to have been associated with the shooting. A traffic stop was conducted and Alexander Parker, 18, of Columbus was taken into custody, Harris said.

As the investigation continued, detectives received information regarding a second suspect reportedly involved in the shooting, who was identified as Edmarius Oats, 18, of Columbus. At approximately 12:45 a.m., Oats was taken into custody outside of a residence in the 3400 block of Old Field Lane in Columbus, by members of the CPD SWAT team, which is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Columbus Police Department and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office.

Both Oats and Parker were transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where they were remanded on the following preliminary charges:

Edmarius Malik Oats – Aggravated Battery and Criminal Recklessness with a Deadly Weapon
Alexander Isaiah Parker – Aggravated Battery, Criminal Recklessness with a Deadly Weapon and Assisting a Criminal

Both subjects remain incarcerated without bond. Additional charges are possible in this ongoing investigation.

The following agencies assisted at the scene and/or with the investigation: Columbus Fire Department, Columbus Regional Health Paramedics, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Indiana University Lifeline, Columbus Park and Recreation, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin Police Department and the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic Caution tape is strung from poles after four people were shot on the basketball court at Lincoln Park in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, May 23, 2023.