Docs: Edinburgh family fight escalated to Thanksgiving shooting

A 20-year-old Edinburgh man has been charged in Bartholomew Circuit Court with murder after a shooting Thanksgiving Day that resulted in the death of 49-year-old Wayne E. McGeorge Jr., Edinburgh.

The shooting was reported at 6:13 p.m. in the area of 15000 N. Bluff Road, where investigators found McGeorge had been shot in the abdomen after a family dispute.

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case states that when Bartholomew County Sheriff deputies arrived, emergency personnel were still attempting life-saving measures on McGeorge. The victim was later pronounced dead at the hospital and the coroner was notified.

Sheriff deputies said Damion Bryant, 20, Edinburgh, admitted to deputies he was the one who had shot his stepfather, who was McGeorge, the affidavit states.

According to the statement, Bryant said his younger siblings had come into his bedroom and told him that McGeorge and Bryant’s mother were fighting. Bryant told detectives he went downstairs with his bolt action .308 Winchester and asked his siblings additional questions, also saying he loaded the firearm, and then unloaded it.

Believing McGeorge had left, Bryant then sent his younger siblings next door to their grandparents and told detectives he believed that McGeorge may have been drinking, the affidavit states.

Bryant said when McGeorge was drinking, he could become aggressive and “things could go bad and he (Bryant) may have to ‘punch him or shoot him,’” the affidavit states.

Bryant said he still had his gun when McGeorge returned home and said the two had a “discussion,” the court affidavits state. As McGeorge came closer to Bryant, Bryant told investigators he loaded the gun, the affidavit states.

He then told investigators that McGeorge pushed on him and put his hands around his neck, and that Bryant then pushed McGeorge away with the barrel of the gun, which then discharged, striking McGeorge in the abdomen, according to the affidavit.

Bryant told investigators he doesn’t know if he hit the trigger or if the gun went off, according to the affidavit. Bryant then placed the gun on the couch and McGeorge crawled into the dining room area, and at the time, Bryant said, “I hope he makes it.”

Bryant was told during the interview that McGeorge had died, and became visibly upset and started crying, saying “I killed him,” the affidavit states.

He then called 911 and attempted to apply pressure with what he thought was a tablecloth until emergency personnel arrived, according to the affidavit.

Bryant told emergency personnel that he shot McGeorge, and officers read him his rights, handcuffed him and placed him in a patrol car.

As the investigation continued, detectives learned that the round that had been fired had exited the residence and went into the attic of the residence next door, according to the probable cause affidavit.

An autopsy on Monday determined that McGeorge died from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen and the death was ruled a homicide, according to investigators.

Bryant remains in the Bartholomew County Jail, being held without bond.

The story is a staff report by The (Columbus) Republic, a sister newspaper to the Daily Journal.