By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
The Terre Haute Police Department is investigating a report of a gun fired early this morning on the city's south side.
Officers were dispatched to the area of S. 17th and Ohio Streets just before 12:30 a.m.
Assistant Chief Shawn Keen said witness accounts of the incident vary and no suspect was located at the time.
"They spoke with a male who indicated that he had a gun pointed at him by a white male in a black car who almost struck him as he crossed 16th Steet, on the south side of Ohio Street," Keen said, noting no there were no injuries.
By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
Officials say a Terre Haute South High School senior was fatally shot while attending a small underage drinking party on the southeast side of the city early yesterday morning. He would have turned 18 next month.
William "Garrett" Sands, 17, died just after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, allegedly inflicted by his sister's boyfriend as they hung out with other friends in the basement of the suspect's parents' home at 4333 Golf Bag Lane, located in the Idle Creek subdivision.
The shooting suspect, Nathan G. Derickson, 19, of Terre Haute, was booked into the Vigo County Jail around 6:15 a.m. yesterday. He is charged with reckless homicide.
According to the probable cause affidavit, filed by Det. Sgt. John Newman, of the Vigo County Sheriff's Office, emergency crews were dispatched to the home on a report of the shooting at 1:30 a.m. Upon arrival, officers noticed several beer cans and alcohol containers scattered around the residence. They also detected the smell of marijuana coming from the basement.
Investigators were told a couple different versions of what had happened leading up to the fatal shooting, including one that the victim had shot himself, according to the court documents. However, a male friend at the scene said he felt he needed to tell the truth -- alleging that Derickson, in fact, shot the teen while playing with a gun they all believed was unloaded, as Sands continued playing darts until the silver Smith & Wesson .38 Special fired its fatal round.
Investigation revealed that a female friend and Derickson administered CPR on the victim, as instructed by the 911 dispatcher. At the time, Sands was noted to still be breathing while lying in a pool of blood. A male friend went to attempt to awaken next door neighbors for help just before medics arrived and also performed CPR, to no avail.
The male friend said he was uncomfortable with the loaded gun being played with while the drinking was going on, and he took several bullets out of the weapon. The gun belongs to the suspect's mother and was reportedly kept on her nightstand until the suspect brought it to the basement while housesitting, as the family was on a spring break trip to Florida.
According to the documents, Derickson then grabbed the gun, believing it was unloaded, and pointing it at the bar area in the basement. He pulled the trigger and nothing happened. He pulled the trigger again --- this time just as Sands stood back up from picking a dart off the floor. The gunshot rang out loudly as a bullet struck the victim.
Ultimately, Derickson allegedly confessed to the shooting, explaining to Newman that, "after Garrett was shot, everyone started panicking -- and he knew he was going to jail right then, 'because he 'f- - - -ed up." Derickson said they attempted CPR because they hoped to save Sands and because he "didn't mean to kill nobody.'"
Meanwhile, Derickson was released from the jail on pre-trial home detention following a Div. 5 Court appearance today, just before 2 p.m. Judge Michael Rader ordered a $50,000 bond with 10 percent cash acceptable. Derickson is scheduled to appear in court on April 4 and is represented by attorney William Smock.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141