FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2015


Media Contact: Curtis T. Hill, Jr. (574) 296-1888

On Wednesday, September 23, 2015 a twelve member jury called in Elkhart County Circuit Court found Thomas Harper guilty of two counts of Burglary Resulting in Bodily Injury, a Class A felony. The conviction followed a three day trial involving 16 State witnesses including one of the shooting victims, multiple officers from the Elkhart Police Department and a forensic analyst from the Indiana State Police Laboratory.

According to court testimony, on January 23, 2014 Harsimratpal Singh awoke to noises coming from the upstairs apartment of 1415 Franklin Street near downtown Elkhart. Harsimratpal Singh called his employer, Gurcharn Singh to come over from the Burger Dairy convenience store next door. While the two men were outside of the downstairs residence discussing what to do, a man, later identified as Thomas Harper, emerged from the upstairs residence and dropped a laptop belonging to the apartment resident at the top of the landing. Harper then ran down the stairs and confronted them, pulling out a .22 caliber revolver and shooting at both men. Gurcharn Singh was shot in both knees and Harsimratpal Singh was shot in the back. Both men were able to provide general descriptions of the shooter which later assisted Elkhart City police officers in identify Harper.

According to EPD officers who arrived on scene, they were able to track distinct shoe impressions in the fresh snow from Franklin St to 513 Oakland Avenue a few blocks away. While following the shoeprints, officers also located a cord that belonged to the laptop that had been removed from the apartment. EPD officers located Thomas Harper as the sole resident of the upstairs apartment of 513 Oakland Ave along with wet sweatpants and Nike athletic shoes stuffed in a closet.

A forensic analyst from the Indiana State Police Laboratory analyzed the Nike athletic shoes against the shoe print taken from the kicked-in door of 1415 Franklin street and determined them to be an exact match. According to testimony from detectives, Harper denied to investigators that he had ever seen or worn the shoes, claiming he didn't like the colors, but photos entered into evidence from Facebook showed Harper wearing the shoes.

Sentencing in this case is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2014 in Elkhart County Circuit Court. This case was prepared by Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Kathleen Gring and Don Pitzer.


“Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”