EPD: Mass Shooting Investigation Continues

Evansville police detectives continue to investigate Sunday morning's fatal shooting in the American Legion parking lot near downtown that left one man dead and three others injured.  Located in the 1100-block of Chestnut St., the legion's post has been a hotbed of police activity, amassing more than 600 emergency calls for service since 2003, according to police records.

The shooting happened around 2:15 Sunday morning as a large group of people congregated outside the club's entrance, police said. Thirty-two year old Anthony Blaylock was shot multiple times and died at an area hospital. Three others were also wounded. Their identities have not been released.

Police said it is unclear if Blaylock was the intended target of the shooting or whether he was caught in the cross fire. Its also unclear how many shooters were involved, police said. The incident was captured on the club's security cameras. The footage is being reviewed by detectives.

Sgt. Jason Cullum said the incident qualifies as a mass shooting.

"It's definitely not a designation that we want but it's just a reminder of how quickly things can turn violent," Sgt. Cullum said.

Lloyd Denton Jr., the second vice commander of American Legion Post #354, said the club was hosting an event in which non-members were invited. About an hour before the shooting happened, Denton said before he left for the evening, he cleared the parking lot of a large group of people.

"I made sure that my lot was clear because there were still people drinking liquor. I said they have to get off my premises," Denton said. "There's nothing more we can do except come out here and clear our lots ourselves like I did."

Denton believes the shooting involved people who were not members of the veterans advocacy organization. However, police said the involved individuals were clearly at the club for the event.

"There's no doubt that the folks that were involved were associated with the gathering at the American Legion," Sgt. Cullum said. "Whether they were inside or outside, they were there because the legion was having an event that they wanted to take part in."

This far from the first incident at this particular American Legion location. According to police records, there have been 625 emergency runs to that address since the department switched to its electronic records management system in 2003. Some of the runs are either duplicates or were for medical services only.

However, there have been more than enough documented cases of criminal activity to leave police concerned.

"You shouldn't have 50 of those [dispatched runs]. At 4 or 5, somebody at the American Legion, whether it be at that [the local level], the state level or the national level, should be sitting down in Evansville, Indiana and saying, 'how come no other post in our area is having this problem?'" Sgt. Cullum said. "For one address to have hundreds of runs, that is something that needs to be considered moving forward."

Legion officials said they will review their bylaws and possibly make changes to their events. Increased security could also be implemented.

Sgt. Cullum said these changes are long overdue.

"They're going have to look at that. If they don't, they're doing a disservice to our community by allowing it to continue," Sgt. Cullum said. "Ultimately they're doing a disservice to the American Legion because this is not what [the organization] represents."


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Cutest Kiss Sweepstakes
  • Tristate Professionals
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Dr. Oz Wellness Network
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Calendar
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Video Center