INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A 21-year-old man accused of killing a postal worker in Indianapolis this week could go to prison for life if convicted.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Thursday announced Tony Dashaun Cushingberry-Mays will face charges of murder, assault, and discharge of a firearm.
The suspect allegedly shot Angela Summers after she pepper-sprayed him during an altercation, according to federal court documents.
According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, Summers and Cushingberry-Mays had been in a confrontation on the front porch of a home in the 400 block of North Denny Street on the city's east side before the shooting.
In those complaints, the USPS said the residents at the home where Summers was killed have had "several issues" with their dog which had resulted in a mail hold being placed on the residence. The most recent incident was on April 13, when the USPS Linwood Indianapolis Post Office sent a letter to the Cushingberry residence saying they would have to retrieve their mail from the post office because of their dog. On April 27, when Summers was shot, the United States Postal Inspection Service says the mail was still being held at the Linwood post office.
After multiple witness interviews, detectives arrested Cushingberry-Mays as a suspect in the shooting.
During his interview with detectives, Cushingberry-Mays said that his mail was being held and he confronted the postal worker about it, according to the criminal complaint. He said the postal worker sprayed him with mace and he pulled out his gun and fired a single shot at her.
"Cushingberry-Mays stated he approached the letter carrier as she was delivering mail at 422 North Denny Street, Indianapolis, IN and asked for their mail. He asked for their mail several times and the letter carrier did not respond to him. He said he stepped onto the porch steps," according to the criminal complaint. "He was approximately six feet away from the letter carrier. He said the letter carrier turned around, grabbed her mace spray, and sprayed Cushingberry-Mays. Cushingberry-Mays then pulled his handgun from the right side of his waistband (no holster), pointed his handgun at the letter carrier, and fired one shot at the letter carrier. He acknowledged the mace was not deadly, but led to discomfort from his asthma."
Cushingberry-Mays has been formally charged with murder, assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
"U.S. Postal Inspectors are charged with ensuring the safety and security of USPS employees, and that is a charge that we do not take lightly," said Detroit Division Acting Inspector in Charge Felicia George. "Anyone who threatens, assaults, or otherwise harms a postal employee fulfilling her critical mission will be apprehended and held fully accountable. The significant collaborative efforts on this case by Postal Inspectors and our law enforcement partners especially IMPD, illustrate our commitment to the safety and security of all postal employees."
This story was originally published by Katie Cox and Tom Maccabe at WRTV.