An Indiana couple was robbed and shot early Thursday in a fatal attack that was carried out by two armed men — and witnessed by their 6-year-old son.
Local reports indicate Indianapolis Metropolitan Police have yet to release information about the two suspects, but did confirm the young boy helped his wounded father call 911 for help.
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According to the Indianapolis Star, WISH-TV, and WTHI-TV, Wilma Hochstetler, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene by responding officers. Her husband, Jonathan, was shot in the neck and has since undergone surgery to fuse three broken vertebrae together in his neck.
Jonathan, WISH-TV reports, wasn’t paralyzed in the attack, which also left him with broken bones in his jaw and face. Doctors say he will recover physically, but a friend insists he’ll never recover from losing his soulmate.
“The hardest thing for him is going to be to pick up and go on without Wilma,” Andrew Yutzy told the station. “Literally, he didn’t breathe without Wilma being a part of it. That’s how close they were. Pray for Jonathan, that he can pick up the pieces. And his children, they’re just devastated.”
Jonathan and Wilma Hochstetler
The couple, who also have three daughters, own a roofing company in nearby Bloomfield, according to the Star. They were very religious and heavily involved in missionary work.
On Wednesday, Jonathan stopped at a roofing project in Indianapolis, and blew out a tire on his trailer. According to WISH-TV, Jonathan stayed with the trailer, and had his workers drive back to Bloomfield with his truck. Wilma, with their young son, then drove the truck back to Indianapolis, with a spare tire for the trailer.
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The couple replaced the trailer’s tire, but then noticed a problem with its lights. They began trying to fix the lights after midnight, according to the reports.
Police say two men approached the couple and pulled out guns. The pair took money and Wilma’s mobile phone before shooting them both and fleeing.
Wounded but still conscious, Jonathan made his way back to the truck, where their boy was sitting. They called the police.
On Friday, Jonathan’s father, Sam Hochstetler, appeared before media cameras and read a letter he’d written to the people of Indianapolis.
“I extend forgiveness for the two murderers,” he said. “Revenge only begets more violence. My heart’s desire for them is that they would repent, to fall on their faces before the Lord Jesus, and cry out for mercy for their own souls’ sake.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been initiated to help cover Jonathan’s ongoing medical costs.