(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A 19-year-old Indianapolis man has been accused of killing three people over four days in what prosecutors are calling a string of slayings inspired by the horror film The Purge.
Jonathan Cruz was charged Wednesday with 17 counts, including murder and armed robbery, according to court documents. Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry accused the man of going on a “four-day purge” through the Indiana capital between May 12 and 15.
His alleged victims “appeared to be 100 percent random,” Curry said during a news conference Wednesday.
A witness told police on May 15 that Cruz told her about shooting and robbing several people, saying he had been “purging,” in reference, prosecutors say, to the 2013 movie starring Ethan Hawke in which all crimes, including rape and murder, are legal over a 12-hour period one day per year.
In the days that followed, investigators served a search warrant at the apartment of Cruz’s mother, as well as an electronic search warrant requesting permission to examine the suspect’s cellphone. In one of the text messages police recovered from his phone, Cruz allegedly says, “I Purge every night now .. since im dieing someone else Has to,” according to an affidavit.
He has not entered a plea and an initial hearing in the case against Cruz was scheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Marion County Criminal Court.
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