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Indianapolis police: 'Criminal activity' in quadruple homicide

Feb. 22, 2014 at 8:19 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Investigators in Indianapolis say the slaying of four people in a house this week was "not a random act."

Two men and two women were shot and killed Thursday in a house on what neighbors described as a quiet street. Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite said detectives believe "criminal activity" was under way when the victims were killed, the Indianapolis Star reported.

"This was not a random act," Hite told reporters at a news conference Thursday. "This was not a stranger on a stranger crime."

Herbert Burnell --whose brother, Walter Burnell, was one of the victims -- told the Star he knew what his brother "was involved in," but did not offer specifics.

Walter Burnell, 47, had a prison record for drug convictions dating back more than 15 years, the newspaper said, citing Indiana Department of Correction records. He was convicted in 2012 of illegal drug possession.

Penny Steele, of Redding, Calif. -- whose 43-year-old son, Jacob Rodemich, was killed -- said she spoke with her son the night before the shooting and he seemed happy.

She acknowledged he had a criminal record and said he had been laid off about five months ago from his job at the State Fairgrounds, the Star reported.

The names of the other victims were not reported.

Police have not released details of how the victims were killed.

Police said the four slayings brought to eight the number of killings in the city in a 15-hour period.

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