The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has determined the Kroger employee who fatally shot another man suspected of trying to rob the store will not be charged.
According to police, Jeremy Atkinson, 26, tried to rob the Kroger near 71st Street and Georgetown Road a little after 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26. Witnesses said he placed a hard object into the back of an unarmed female security guard.
According to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Atkinson put the woman in a headlock. Then, prosecutors said the suspect grabbed an employee walking out of the store’s office and grabbed her in a choke hold and put her up against a wall. That employee called for Levi Elliott, who ran into the office. Prosecutors said Atkinson released the woman and charged at Elliot, who then shot Atkinson.
"We'll never know what his intent was. Certainly the inference you can draw from the set of circumstances is that he intended to commit a robbery or some crime," said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.
Atkinson was taken to Wishard Hospital in serious condition and died several hours later.
"Under Indiana law, (Elliott) did not commit a crime," said Curry.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday that Atkinson did not have a gun. They also said the gun used to shoot Atkinson belonged to Elliott and that he had a lifetime permit. The prosecutor’s office also stated the store’s security tape only showed Atkinson coming inside, but the shooting was not captured on camera.
While Kroger did not comment on their company policies, Fox59 obtained information from an employee handbook:
- At no time are Team members of the Kroger Company to bring firearms, illegal knives, blades or weapons onto the company premises. The presence of a weapon sharply increases the chances of injury to Team Members and Customers.
Wednesday, the Marion County prosecutor said there was no basis for charges to be filed against Elliott, based on witnesses’ testimonies and video surveillance.
“Under Indiana law, MCPO believes that the shooting was justified to prevent the commission of a forcible felony (robbery and criminal confinement) and based upon Indiana law pertaining to self-defense and defense of others,” stated the prosecutor in the decision.
The prosecutor’s office said at the time of the attempted robbery, Atkinson had an outstanding warrant. In that case, Atkinson was charged with robbery, as well as multiple counts of criminal confinement.
Kroger released the following statement Wednesday:
"Kroger expresses our appreciation to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Marion County Prosecutor’s office and the community for its support during the past ten days. This has been a very stressful time for our Kroger family. The company has an ongoing internal review. There is no specific timeline for the completion of our review and we have no further comment at this time," said John Elliott, spokesperson.