FORT WAYNE – Two men arrested after a Nov. 13 robbery of a New Haven gun shop now face federal charges.
Brenton Ennis, 18, and Craig Whigum, 19, each face charges of robbery and using a firearm during a violent crime. The criminal complaint was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne.
With Orlando Paschall, 21, and an unnamed 15-year-old boy waiting outside in a blue Impala, Ennis and Whigum went into Shooters at 660 Lincoln Highway West in New Haven, according to the complaint prepared by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other court documents.
Either Ennis or Whigum asked to see a firearm and when the store owner went to get it, the robber pulled his own gun and pointed it at the owner, court records allege. The owner was identified in Allen Superior Court documents as Jerry Lyons.
A customer, identified in other documents as Kevin Schwartz, told police the other robber pointed a gun at him and demanded money and his car keys.
As Schwartz complied, the robber punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground. The robber then hit him multiple times and at some point the gun discharged. Schwartz told investigators he wasn’t sure whether he had been shot. He was taken to a hospital with multiple injuries, according to court documents.
Lyons’ own gun was taken from him, as well as his wallet, which contained $1,200 in store money he was going to deposit at a bank. One of the robbers threatened to kill Lyons and threw him to the ground, according to court documents.
Ennis and Whigum fled the store with numerous handguns, three long guns and ammunition. They drove off and Lyons called police, court records said.
After police gave chase and deployed stop sticks, the car crashed into a pickup truck at Anthony Boulevard and McKinnie Avenue. Whigum, Paschall and the juvenile were taken into custody and Ennis fled.
With the help of his mother, Ennis later turned himself in Nov. 14 and told them where to find a gun still missing from the robbery, as well as the clothes Ennis had worn at the time. The clothes had been dumped in the garage of a Lilllie Street home, court records said.
Ennis bonded out of the Allen County Jail after being arrested on a preliminary robbery charge but was picked up Friday on an intimidation charge after he argued with the resident of the Lillie Street home where the clothes were found, court records said.
Allen County prosecutors filed motions to dismiss the preliminary robbery charges against Ennis, Whigum and Paschall on Tuesday. The federal charges were filed Tuesday against Whigum and Ennis.