Mother murdered, father critically injured in front of son, 6, after their car broke down on the road


INDIANAPOLIS, IN –A family had pulled over on the side of the road with vehicle issues in Indianapolis. 

What they thought was just an inconvenience ended up being a nightmare which ended with the mother shot and killed and the father critically injured on the side of the road with their children.

On September 16th, Jonathan and Wilma Hochstetler were driving in Indianapolis had pulled over to the side of the road in an attempt to fix a headlight that was not working.  As they were working on the headlight, they noticed two men walking toward them.

Ervin Slabaugh, Wilma’s brother, told that neither Jonathan nor Wilma thought much of the men initially.  However, as they got to them, both men brandished guns and demanded everything worth money, all in front of their 6-year-old son.

According to the IndyStar, the two suspects allegedly took Wilma’s cellphone and money off of both of them during the armed robbery.  The two suspects started to walk away with the property, and then for whatever reason, decided to turn around and fire, striking them both.

Slabaugh told that one of the bullets struck Wilma in the brain stem which killed her instantly.  Jonathan was shot in the neck and was able to retreat to his vehicle where his son was hiding in the back seat.

Jonathan told his young son to get his cell phone so that he could call 911 to get help.  Slabaugh said:

“I don’t think Jonathan could have done it without him.”

Police and medics responded to the scene and took Jonathan to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition according to WISH-TV.  Jonathan was operated on and they had to fuse three of his vertebrae together during the surgery.

The Hochstetler’s lived roughly an hour and a half from Indianapolis and Jonathan was only there as he had been at a drive site earlier in the day.  On his way home, he had a tire blow out and had called Wilma and asked her to bring him a spare tire.  Wilma came with the tire and brought their young son with her.

Slabaugh told that both Wilma and Jonathan were well known in their community as being kindhearted and generous.  He said that both of them had been raised in an Amish lifestyle and had been married for 17 years.  Slabaugh said:

“If [the suspects] would have showed up at her door, she’d have been so glad to give them whatever they wanted.”

Jonathan is still in the hospital and recovering but the doctors are optimistic that they will be able to release him soon.  He will be able to join his son and three daughters and help them through the process of losing their mother.

Wilma’s family created a GoFundMe account in order to offer reward money to whoever can provide any information that would lead to the identification of the suspects of the  murder. 

As of now, the Indianapolis Police Department has not released any information that they have identified any potential suspects in the case.

The GoFundMe account says:

“The family of Wilma Hochstetler is starting a campaign to raise funds to put up a reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of both perpetrators…

All funds will be coordinated with the local police department and disbursed to any individual that comes forward with information leading to an arrest and conviction of the perpetrators as identified by the police department.”

Friends of the Hochstetler’s have also created a GoFundMe account in order to raise money for the funeral expenses and medical costs for Jonathan’s recovery.  As of the writing of this article, they have raised over $170,000. 

Jonathan’s father, Sam Hochstetler told WTHR 13:

“I extend forgiveness to the two murderers.  Revenge only begets more violence.”

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And here is another article brought to you from Law Enforcement Today regarding three people shooting a woman with her child in the car.

LANCASTER, CA – Three suspects have been taken into custody for attempted murder after the brutal shooting of a woman at a California gas station.

The woman, who has been described as a 20 to 30-year-old black female, was shot multiple times outside of the Lancaster Mobil gas station while an infant child sat in the car.

The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition, while the child was unharmed. When officers responded to the scene at around 1 am on Wednesday, they found the injured woman sitting in her car with multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body.

After a preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the woman was most likely set up and became the victim of a robbery. Police told local news reporter Bill Melugin that the victim arrived at the gas station with another woman.

After parking at the station, the female passenger entered the store. According to Melugin, a short time later, another vehicle pulled up.

Two men reportedly exited the vehicle, approached the victim’s car, and tried to rob her before shooting her multiple times. The female passenger then left the store and fled the scene with the two assailants.

Police where able to apprehend the suspects after a brief vehicle pursuit.

The suspects have been described as two black males and one black female, all in their 20’s. All three have been charged with attempted murder and police report that evidence of the crime was recovered from their vehicle.

Their identities have not been released at this time.

It is still unclear if the victim is the mother of the infant.

The Lancaster Sheriff’s Station posted a picture showing Deputy Josef Schirmeister comforting the child at the scene.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said:

“Deputy Josef Schirmeister is part of the community in/out of uniform. Thank you Josef for comforting this precious one-year-old baby boy caught in the middle of a violent act that has left his mother in critical condition.”

According to Melugin, the child has been returned to his father.

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