killed in Gary massacre
Distraught man guns down his family; grandmother plays dead
September 28, 2003
man who repeatedly threatened to kill his family shot four relatives to
death and wounded a fifth before taking his own life early Saturday
bodies of Terry Lee Dennie, 20, and four of his victims were found
inside the family's home at 1176 Porter Ave. a little after 5 a.m. by
Killed were Angela Walton-Scruggs, 41; her 18-year-old
daughter, LaDanna "Mandy" Dennie, a senior at Gary Westside High School;
Walton-Scrugg's 17-year-old son, Darion L. "Winslow" Dennie, a junior at
Westside; and Isaiah "Peanut" Dennie, the 2-year-old son of LaDanna
family member, Elizabeth Walton, 81, was seriously wounded, but
reportedly played dead until she heard the final gunshot, which took the
life of her 20-year-old grandson. She was admitted to The Methodist
Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary with gunshot wounds to her torso and
right arm, and was alert and talking late Saturday morning, relatives
evidence and preliminary forensics testing suggests that Terry Lee
Dennie was the shooter in this incident of domestic violence," said Lake
County Coroner David Pastrick. "There has been a long history of mental
illness and of threats and violence toward his family."
people were shot with a 9mm high-point firearm, Pastrick said.
said Angela Walton-Scruggs died of a single gunshot wound to the head,
as did Darion Dennie. LaDanna Dennie sustained multiple gunshot wound to
the body while trying to protect Isaiah; the child also died of multiple
gunshot wounds to the body, Pastrick said. Terry Dennie died of a single
self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, he said.
in the parking lot of Teamsters Union Local 142 across the street from
the trim white and black 1-1/2-story home, relatives said Dennie on
several occasions had threatened to kill his immediate family.
him on medication, but he stopped taking it," said Tyrone Walton,
brother of Angela, and son of Elizabeth Walton.
he was going to take 17 people with him just like at the Last Supper,"
Walton said, tears streaming down his face.
ago, Gary police found Terry Dennie in the alley near his grandmother's
home armed with two shotguns and trying to burn the house down, said
Louvinia Walton, Angela Walton-Scruggs' sister.
shot him down with a beanbag and knocked him out," she said. "He was
supposed to be locked up. The family went before a judge (to have Dennie
committed to a mental hospital), but they released him. This is the
worst thing I've ever seen."
said Elizabeth Walton recently had taken in Dennie despite his threats.
"A lot of
family members told her not to, but he was her grandson. She couldn't
turn her back on him," Pastrick said.
to Tyrone Walton, Dennie waited outside the house until all his victims
arrived home from a party celebrating another relative's recent college
waited for Mandy to get in sometime after 3 this morning and then he
started shooting," Tyrone Walton said.
trees shade the yard of the home where nine Walton children, including
Angela, grew up. Looking across the street at her childhood home,
Louvinia recalled good times in the house where her mother and late
father moved in 1958. Bicycles leaned against a shed in the side yard,
and a tiny red and silver metal tricycle stood several feet away.
Louvinia said the home had been ruled by fear in the past few years.
Although she had recently taken him into her home, Elizabeth was growing
increasingly nervous about Dennie and his threats, Louvinia Walton said.
began asking different relatives to stay with her because she was so
nervous," she said.
family, friends and neighbors gathered across from the murder scene,
distraught relatives had to be restrained from entering the house. Five
relatives, including Louvinia and Tyrone Walton, held onto their niece,
Linda Haney, who said she wanted to get at the body of Terry Dennie.
Eddie Shields Jr., pastor of nearby Evening Star M.B. Church, appeared
shaken as he talked with police at the scene. The Walton and Dennie
families were members of his church, he said.
a time to come together, to be united," Shields told the crowd of
several dozen relatives
and friends. "This is not a time for violence, for hatred. We've seen
enough of that."