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Police and fire

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1 charged in shooting at party

Man shot twice after 'friendly' wrestling match

– It started as a friendly wrestling match.

It ended with a man shot twice in the chest.

The accused shooter apparently didn't like being on the losing end of the wrestling match, witnesses told police.

Deshawn Smith went to Eden Green apartments late on May 22 where he intended to hang out and drink with friends for the night, he told police.

When Bryan L. Flowers arrived at the gathering, the two started to wrestle with no indication of violence or anger between the two, according to witness statements to police.

That all changed when Smith body-slammed Flowers to the ground. A friend with Flowers handed him a gun, and Flowers shot Smith once in the chest, according to his admission to police and others witness statements.

When Smith confronted Flowers about getting shot, Flowers shot Smith again, he told police. Smith was critically injured but survived.

The events of that night led to Flowers being charged Wednesday with aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He has prior convictions for aggravated robbery and armed robbery, which bar him from owning a gun.

Flowers, of the 4400 block of Lillie Street, confessed to police that he shot Smith twice, according to a probable cause affidavit.

When police arrived shortly after midnight May 22, they found Flowers near the scene after witnesses pointed officers in his direction.

Despite having detained a possible suspect, police could not interview Flowers at the time because of his high level of intoxication, according to the affidavit, and he was released.

It was not until police found Flowers a week later, this time in custody at the LaPorte County Jail, that they could get a coherent statement in which Flowers admitted he shot Smith, the affidavit said.

A series of Facebook messages between a witness and Smith's sister eventually gave police the wrestling match as a possible motive for the shooting, according to the affidavit.

cmeyers@jg.net

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