A restaurant manager tried to wrestle a gun away from a holdup man, touching off a shooting spree and a six-hour hostage standoff that left one dead and four others wounded, police said.
Ron and Thomas Mathisen entered the Denny's Monday as a lunchtime crowd was gathering. But after the manager was shot during the struggle for Thomas Mathisen's 9 mm pistol, his brother "went crazy" with a .357-caliber handgun, said Sgt. Frank Evans."(Thomas Mathisen) was real upset with the manager for grabbing his gun," Evans said. "He said, `Nothing would have happened if he hadn't grabbed my gun.' "
Ron, 27, and Tom, 24, took about two dozen customers and restaurant employees hostage, then let them go in groups of four or five while negotiating with police.
After police promised the brothers they could talk with family members, the last seven hostages were released about 5 p.m., and the brothers surrendered peacefully.
The brothers, from Casper, Wyo., apparently chose Indianapolis and the Denny's restaurant at random. "They pulled a map out, saw Indianapolis and decided to come here," Evans said.
They face charges including murder, attempted murder and attempted robbery.
Alfred Smith, 71, was killed. His wife, Linda, told The Indianapolis Star the couple were sitting in a booth when the shooting began.
"As soon as he got up to run, they hit him," she said of her husband. "When he turned around, they hit him again."
Five-year-old Justin Basicker was shot in the mouth; his mother's boyfriend, Steven Johnson, was shot in the back; and Cecil Williams was shot in the hand.
Johnson successfully pleaded with the gunmen to let him take Justin to a hospital.