Gang-Motivated Shooting Death of 13-Year-Old Leads to Murder Charges for Gary Man and Alleged 49th Avenue Boys Gang Members

GARY, Indiana (AP) — A 21-year-old Gary man was charged Friday in connection with the gang-motivated shooting death of 13-year-old Orie Dodson nearly a year ago. Elijah Caleb Porter faces a murder charge, as well as firearm and criminal gang enhancements. Two other individuals from Gary, Dahvee Brunson and Kriston Barbee, Jr., both 18, had the same charges filed against them in August, according to court records.

If convicted at trial, each defendant could face up to 150 years in prison. Investigators allege that Porter, Brunson, and Barbee were members of the 49th Avenue Boys gang and conducted a gang-motivated drive-by shooting of Dodson in front of Power & Light Church in Gary.

An autopsy revealed Dodson was shot three times in the back, and police found more than three dozen bullet casings on a nearby street. Dodson’s mother, Latrice Dodson, believed his death was sparked by an online dispute. This tragic event added another layer of grief for the family as Dodson’s brother, Canova Webb, was killed in a shooting in 2016.

During the investigation, the Lake County Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force uncovered substantial evidence of gang-related crimes involving the 49th Avenue Boys gang, including several homicides, drug dealing, illegal firearm possession and sales, and general crimes of violence throughout Lake County.

The task force, consisting of detectives from the Gary Police Department, the Indiana State Police, the Indiana State Excise Police, and the East Chicago Police Department, conducted the investigation with assistance from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Indiana. This case serves as a sobering reminder of the impact of gang-related violence on local communities and the relentless efforts of law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice.