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Court records detail holdup at gun store


– Gunmen took an assortment of pistols, rifles and a shotgun from a New Haven gun shop Tuesday after battering the store owner and a customer, according to court documents released Thursday.

In all, 22 weapons were reported stolen, and all but one had been recovered by police as of Wednesday night, court records said.

About 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Craig Whigum and Brenton Ennis entered Shooters Gun Shop at 660 Lincoln Highway West in New Haven, court documents said. Two others – Orlando Paschall and a 15-year-old boy – remained outside in a dark blue Chevrolet Impala.

Court records spell out the police version of what happened inside the gun shop and the ensuing chase and crash that happened that morning.

Ennis asked the business owner, Jerry Lyons, to show him a 9 mm handgun, and Whigum pulled a gun out and pointed the weapon at Kevin Schwartz, a customer in the store. Whigum demanded money and keys from Schwartz and after receiving his keys and wallet, again asked for money. Schwartz replied that his money was in the wallet, and Whigum struck him in the left eye with his fist and then hit him repeatedly, causing him to fall to the floor, court records said.

Ennis pulled a gun on Lyons, threatened to kill him and threw him to the ground, records said. Ennis then took Lyons’ pistol and his wallet. He tried to get into the cash register but couldn’t get it open.

Lyons told police one of the men shot Schwartz before leaving the store, possibly with his own gun, court records said.

Schwartz later told police that he thought he’d been shot because he had pain in the back of his head and heard a gunshot. After the robbery, he was taken to Parkview Hospital and was treated for a head injury that did not appear to be a gunshot wound.

The men took 10 .45-caliber pistols, nine 9 mm pistols, two rifles and one shotgun, all of various brands. They also took three boxes of .45-caliber ammunition, court documents said.

After leaving the gun shop, Ennis and Whigum got back into the Impala, and Ennis began driving west on Indiana 930, court records said.

A short time later, an Allen County sheriff’s officer spotted the car and tried to pull it over, but the driver refused to stop. The resulting chase ended at South Anthony Boulevard and McKinnie Avenue after the Impala collided with a pickup truck, according to police reports.

Paschall and Whigum, who were both riding in the back seat, tried to run from police but were caught immediately. Both were taken to St. Joseph Hospital. The juvenile, who was riding in the front passenger seat, remained in the car and was taken into custody immediately. He was then taken to Lutheran Hospital.

All three were later taken to New Haven Police Department and placed in holding cells, according to court documents.

Ennis, who was driving the car at the time of the crash, ran from police and was able to escape. On Wednesday, Ennis turned himself in.

Paschall, 21, and Whigum, 19, were each booked Wednesday morning on a preliminary charge of felony robbery. Both were being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Paschall was also being held without bail on a probation violation.

Ennis, 18, was booked Wednesday night on preliminary felony charges of robbery and resisting law enforcement. He was being held in lieu of $12,500 bail.

The 15-year-old boy is also in custody on a robbery charge.