MPD makes arrest in fatal shooting incident

<p><strong>Mara Semon, DN File</strong></p>

Mara Semon, DN File

Muncie Police Department (MPD) arrested a man Thursday in the shooting incident that took place earlier that day at an apartment on White River Boulevard, according to an MPD report.

Dimorrea Benning, 18, was arrested and charged with armed robbery and the murder of Seth Barton, who was later pronounced dead as a result of a gunshot wound at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, the report said.

MPD investigators located two witnesses who were believed to be inside the apartment at the time of the shooting and transported them to Muncie’s City Hall where they were interviewed, it said.

One of the witnesses said Benning and a second suspect were involved in the shooting and he was familiar with both suspects from prior contact, the report said. The witness said two suspects had been in the apartment earlier that day in order to carry out a previously arranged drug transaction.

Benning and the second suspect returned and entered the apartment uninvited, the witness said in the report. They pointed guns at the three individuals inside the apartment and demanded money from them, before taking guns, money and a bag that possibly contained drugs and money from the apartment.

During the altercation, the witness said the second suspect began kicking Barton attempting to wake him up. Barton, however, did not wake up even after a few more attempts by the suspect.

As Benning and the second suspect were exiting the apartment, the second suspect pointed a gun at Barton, who was in a recliner, and shot him, the witness said in the report.

When the second witness was describing the robbery attempt, he was unable to identify the individuals but was able to provide a general description of the individuals and their clothing, which matched the description provided by the first witness.

Benning was later located and interviewed by investigators, the report said. Initially, he denied going to the apartment at any time, but his story changed multiple times during the interview. 

Eventually, he admitted to having had contact with the second suspect and being with that individual around the time of the robbery attempt and murder.

During this interview, he asked investigators if a firearm was found. If so, he said the firearm was his. He said he was unaware of the location of his handgun and that it could have been taken while he was asleep that day.

In the report, Benning admitted that he had viewed a Snapchat video from the previous night depicting the two witnesses and the victim, who can be seen in possession of a large amount of U.S. currency, from inside the apartment.

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