VANDERBURGH CO., Ind. (WEHT) – The man accused of shooting and killing another man on Maggie Valley Drive in Vanderburgh County apparently did so because he thought the man he shot was a sex offender.

Ricky Allen Kiper Jr. was arrested Wednesday and charged with the murder of James Christopher McClernon.  An autopsy shows McClernon died of multiple gunshot wounds.

According to court documents Kiper showed up at a home where McClernon was staying around 3:00 Wednesday afternoon.  The documents go on to say Kiper, McClernon and several others had a conversation when Kiper told McClernon, “You killed my daughter,” then shot McClernon at least twice, including once in the head.  

According to investigators Kiper originally told them McClernon had a knife, but witnesses say McClernon was not threatening Kiper.

During questioning after being detained, officers say Kiper admitted to shooting McClernon two times, claiming he was protecting children inside the home. Deputies also say, during that interview, Kiper said he was justified in killing a sex offender, and officials confirmed McClernon was on the registry.

“Yes, that was something that our suspect had mentioned,” explains Major Jason Ashworth with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office. “Certainly it’s not justification or cause for doing what he did.”

Ashworth also confirmed both the suspect and victim were together earlier in the day prior to the shooting, however evidence shows there were no indications Kiper was planning the shooting.

“There’s no indication that there was a connection to him, to his family, kids, none of that that he was, the victim, was a categorization of a list that he was on, if you will. And that was enough for him.”

Kiper was picked up about a mile from the scene, and he is being held in the Vanderburgh County Jail.