Indiana veteran gunned down in cemetery after confronting speeders; children witness the killing
DALEVILLE, Ind. (WXIN) — A 38-year-old veteran was gunned down in a remote Indiana cemetery after confronting a group who had sped down his road and nearly struck his wife while shouting profanities and making obscene gestures toward her, court documents reveal.
Three children witnessed the shooting at the cemetery firsthand, according to the documents.
Four suspects, including Alexander Geesy, 18; Ryan Geesy, 22; Brandi Zirkle, 31; and Zirkle’s mother, Dawn Schattner, 53 — all of Anderson — were arrested and charged in connection with the killing of Randall Coomer, of Daleville, Indiana.
Alexander Geesy faces the sole charge of murder. Witnesses told police it was the 18-year-old who pulled the trigger, killing the Marine Corps veteran.
According to court documents, the four suspects and three children drove to Sharp Cemetery on July 22 to celebrate a birthday. Schattner and one of the children were in a white Ford Explorer while the two Geesys, Zirkle, and the other two children were in a red Ford Focus, according to the suspects’ interviews with police.
Stephanie Coomer, the wife of Randall Coomer, had been parked alongside the road so she could get her mail from her mailbox when the Focus and the Explorer came down the road shortly before 2 p.m. Stephanie Coomer told police she had nearly been struck by the speeding vehicles and that as they passed, occupants from the red Ford Focus shouted profanities and made obscene gestures toward her.
One of the children told investigators afterward the same details, saying the occupants of the Focus shouted at Stephanie Coomer and flipped her off as they passed her on the way to the cemetery because she’d been parked on the wrong side of the road while she was getting her mail.
After watching the vehicle turn into the cemetery, Stephanie Coomer drove up to her home and, while still sitting in her car, told her husband about what had just occurred. Randall Coomer decided to drive to the cemetery and confront the group, planning to tell them to slow down, Stephanie Coomer told police.
At 2:02 p.m., Stephanie Coomer called her husband, becoming worried for his safety. During her conversation, she heard “metal clanging sounds” she took for gunfire. Frightened, she hurried toward the cemetery in time to see the Focus and Explorer speeding away.
As both vehicles raced past, the occupants again shouted profanities and flipped her off, she said. In the cemetery, her husband lay in a ditch with a gunshot wound through his heart.
By the time first responders arrived, Randall Coomer was dead. Left behind at the scene were a spent .40 caliber shell casing and a “Mr. Frog” lanyard containing two keys.
Gunned down in a cemetery
Schattner later told police they’d gone to the cemetery to see gravestones.
Both the suspects and child witnesses told investigators that Randall Coomer arrived at the cemetery angry. Schattner told police Randall Coomer was “verbally violent,” heated about the profanities shouted at his wife. This led to a confrontation between Randall Coomer and Ryan Geesy.
“I’m crazy and I get a check for that s—. Don’t f— with me,” Randall Coomer warned Ryan Geesy, according to a police interview with Schattner.
Randall Coomer allegedly struck Ryan Geesy, at which point Alexander Geesy drew a black handgun and pointed it at Randall Coomer, according to Schattner and the juvenile witnesses.
Alexander Geesy ordered Randall Coomer to get on the ground, firing a warning shot at one point, according to court documents. Randall Coomer didn’t comply, however, and tried to retreat to his truck. Alexander Geesy fired again, causing Randall Coomer to run.
Alexander Geesy allegedly fired several more shots as Randall tried to escape, the veteran falling into a ditch after being struck.
Schattner told police that afterward, when fleeing the scene, Alexander Geesy began to panic, franticly saying he was going to go to prison and he was only 18. After dropping off Schattner and the children, Zirkle and the Geesys fled to Tennesee, authorities said.
Zirkle later told police that while in Tennessee, the three discussed a scheme for Ryan Geesy to take the fall for Alexander Geesy. After police arrested the Geesys and Zirkle in Muncie, Indiana, on July 29, Zirkle at first told police that it had been Ryan Geesy who pulled the trigger.
But Zirkle later recanted her story, saying she had wanted to try and protect Alexander Geesy because she loved him but that it was him who actually shot and killed Randall Coomer.
Ryan Geesy also tried to take the fall for the shooting, according to police, but later admitted it was his brother who shot Randall Coomer on July 22. Alexander Geesy would eventually admit to shooting Randall Croomer as well, telling police they fled to Tennessee without offering aid to Coomer or even calling 911 because they were scared.
Court documents also reveal that on July 29, before Zirkle and the Geesys were arrested, Ryan Geesy called a detective and claimed to have Alexander Geesy and Zirkle as hostages in Muncie.
Unraveling the truth
Police spoke to Schattner, the mother of Zirkle, on July 25 asking about her daughter and the Geesys. In initial conversations with police, Schattner denied knowing anything about why officers may be searching for Zirkle and the Geesys. She never mentioned being at the cemetery.
But on July 28, Schattner changed her tune while in the hospital and contacted police to tell them she’d witnessed a homicide.
Schattner ended up telling detectives the whole story, stating she just wanted to protect her children. She even admitted to giving Alexander Geesy the Ford Explorer to allow him and her daughter to flee the state.
After speaking with Schattner, police were led to a home belonging to a relative of the Geesys. At the home, police found the red Ford Focus in a back alley. The Focus had soil clinging to the undercarriage consistent with missing clumps in the cemetery near Randall Coomer’s body. Hanging from the rearview mirror was also a “Mr. Frog” lanyard, the same brand as the one found at the scene.
Police spoke to the Geesys’ relatives who told investigators they’d let Alexander Geesy borrow the car since he didn’t have one of his own. A family member also told police she’d bought Alexander Geesy a .40 caliber handgun just a few days prior to the shooting after Alexander Geesy had pawned his own gun.
Footage later recovered by investigators showed both the white Explorer and the red Focus at a gas station in Anderson on July 22, roughly a half hour before the shooting. Alexander Geesy can be seen on surveillance footage exiting the driver’s seat of the red Focus to walk into the gas station. A handgun is seen on his hip, documents reveal.
When later speaking to police, Zirkle said she signed away her legal rights to her children following the shooting after the kids — ages 16, 14, and 8 — witnessed the murder.
Zirkle said she thought the kids would be safer with Schattner because “clearly they weren’t with me,” according to the court documents.
Consequences and reflection
On Aug. 4, charges were officially filed against the Geesys, Zirkle and Schattner by the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office.
Alexander Geesy is charged with murder and obstruction of justice. Ryan Geesy is charged with assisting a criminal and obstruction of justice. Brandi Zirkle is charged with assisting a criminal, obstruction of justice, and three counts of neglect of a dependent. Dawn Schattner is charged with assisting a criminal, obstruction of justice and neglect of a dependent.
Zirkle, Ryan Geesy and Schattner could face up to six years in prison on their most serious charge. Alexander Geesy faces between 45 and 65 years in prison for his murder charge.
Following the arrests, Stephanie Coomer released the following statement to WXIN:
“I am eternally grateful to all of the officers and detectives in Delaware County. He was my entire world, my heart and soul, and I hope they pay for what they did to him.”
Stephanie Coomer, wife of Randall Coomer