Amish-Raised Couple Shot, One Killed In Indianapolis Robbery

This is a pretty awful and senseless story which hit me for several reasons. This couple is Mennonite, apparently grew up in an Amish community, and probably still have a good number of family who are Amish (two photos of family in the article linked below appear to be Amish).

Hochstetler family photo provided by Andrew Yutzy

Here’s what happened, via the Indianapolis Star:

Sam Hochstetler said his son was at a work site at around 7 p.m. Wednesday. A tire on his trailer had blown out.

Jonathan Hochstetler sent two workers with the truck to Worthington. Wilma Hochstetler then drove to Indianapolis with the truck, a spare trailer tire and the couple’s 6-year-old son.

After fixing the tire sometime past midnight, they noticed the running lights on their trailer didn’t work.

“He was trying to solve that problem and these two guys walked up to them,” Sam Hochstetler said.

The men pulled out guns and took the couple’s money and Wilma Hochstetler’s cellphone, Sam Hochstetler said.

“Jonathan told us that (the robbers) turned around and started to walk away,” he said. “All of a sudden, they just turned and shot. His wife was instantly killed. Jonathan was hit through the neck.”

Jonathan Hochstetler eventually got up and walked to the car, where his son handed him a phone to call the police.

Worthington, Indiana is listed by David Luthy as a settlement which once was and is now no more (spanning the years 1993-2012). I am almost certain I visited briefly (a few hours) this then-Amish community in 2004. It’s near the Daviess County community, and was a New Order Amish settlement.

Friends have set up a Go Fund Me for the Hochstetler family, which has already raised over $170,000 thanks to 1800 donors and counting.

One of the organizers, Matt Yutzy, told the Star that “Money is obviously not the answer — it’s not going to heal anything.”

“We just thought this would ease the burden so he can be home with his family and recover and heal and try to pick up the pieces and go on with life.”

In an Anabaptist Christian spirit, some in this family have chosen to forgive the killers:

Both Lehman and Sam Hochstetler said they forgive the men who killed Wilma and wounded Jonathan. But they added the incident will forever leave “a big hole in the family.”

“That’s something that the criminals possibly don’t understand — that they ruined a family segment,” Lehman said. “The family will still be together, but they took out part of that heart.”

There is no word from police on possible suspects in the shooting.

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    1. Geo


      A senseless tragedy. Being apparently random and opportunistic, it seems less likely the killers will be apprehended. Having been in similar situations, broke down on the road at night, I’ve had tense moments myself. While I dislike the proliferation of firearms, if I were working on the road again, I would be armed. I know for a fact many professional drivers do carry firearms. Who can blame them when all the nutcases have guns.

    2. Karen Baker


      I lived in Indiana for almost ten years, having taken a transfer to the GM plant in Ft Wayne. I was amazed at the ease of getting a gun permit then-just show your Indiana state drivers license, and I think a utility bill to prove you lived in the state, and a few weeks later, the state mailed you a permit. You were then free to buy guns. The whole process took only as long as it took a state employee to receive your application, sign off on it, and send out the permit. A far cry from my native NY, where there have always been numerous background checks and classes to take, to get a permit. You were lucky if you got a permit in less than a year, in NY.
      Indiana also had carry permits, that you didn’t need to show a reason for why you needed a gun on your person. In NY, I think years ago, you had to prove you needed a gun on you, because you carried large sums of money, or had been threatened by someone with death-and had a record of the threat, and a judge agreeing you were in danger.
      In Indiana, I think you just applied for a carry permit, and as soon as someone went over the paperwork, you got one.
      Everyone I knew in Indiana was so concerned about their “rights” being taken from them, chiefly the right to own as many guns as they wanted, and whatever kind they wanted. The collections that some people had, that I knew, was frightening. When I asked why they had these arsenals of weapons and ammo, they would say they were afraid of President Obama’s “friends” thinking they now had the “right” to rob, rape, and kill whites. So, they had to be ready for the coming race war.
      I’m not kidding. In middle America, this is the kind of response I got, over and over again. I moved from Ft Wayne to a village in the next county, and met some local police. They told me, this village had its own KKK unit. The KKK seemed to know when the local police were going to a local gun club to practice, and would show up with numerous guns and rounds and boxes of ammo. It was as if they were saying, “ this is what we have, and you can’t do a thing about it. We’re legal .”
      The police told me also, that whenever a gun crime happened, whether it was a robbery, suicide, or a murder, the gun was usually purchased legally by the person committing the crime, who also had been approved for an Indiana gun permit. Needless to say, the police in this village were in favor of more background checks for prospective gun owners and prospective permit applicants.
      I do t live in Indiana now, but I really hope the gun laws have become more stringent, and it’s harder to get a permit.
      This crime, like all crime, was totally senseless. So wrong. Such a waste of lives…not only the person killed, but the person responsible for her death. When caught, that person will waste their life in prison. And, this lady’s family will never be the same again. Even if, by society’s standards, they manage to “ deal” with her murder.

      1. Cliff

        So you are saying the robbers were legal gun owners?! You have got to be kidding.

        1. Karen Baker


          Did you read what I wrote? I wrote that the POLICE had told me, most of the guns used in Indiana gun crimes, were legally registered to the criminals using them.
          Did I write that THIS crime was committed by the legal owner of the gun used? No. Please reread.

      2. Wow….

        And since these stringent measures in your native NY have virtually eradicated gun violence in the state, I’m just wondering why they haven’t taken the same measures and applied them to consumable alcohol — you know, being that alcohol-related deaths are (as I recall) so much higher than gun-related deaths. An FBI background check for every bottle of scotch; a written explanation for each case of beer explaining why it is necessary; no selling from one buddy to another without going to a licensed dealer to oversee the transaction. A year wait for every bottle of Wild Turkey. Man, we’ll have drunk-driving and alcohol-related crimes whipped in no time! And there’s not even a Constitutional consideration to have to deal with!

        OR…, maybe we can accept that every one who wants to buy a gun is like everyone who buys a bottle of booze — and doesn’t deserve to be treated with all kinds of screens and delays just because there are a few out there who will misuse the product.

        1. Geo


          Just up front Don, I would approve drunk drivers being shot or hung (after a fair trial of course). That being said, your rant is not against drunk driving but in promotion of gun ownership. Comparing apples and oranges is as hard as comparing guns and whiskey. Its hard but it can be done.

          Therefore; nobody EVER bought a bottle of whiskey and took it into a church and murdered a bunch of innocent strangers with it. That’s the difference. If you don’t understand it then you shouldn’t own a gun.

          1. Your points of contrast notwithstanding, my comparison is still quite valid.

            1. Geo

              Gun control

              If you stack your guns by the front door, Obama and Biden can come for them like the NRA and Republicans said they would. I’m still waiting. They certainly take their sweet time coming after my guns. Either that or NRA are shameless liars, propagandists, and lobbyists shilling for gun and ammo manufacturers. Me worry? Never. After Obama takes my guns I’ll protect my family with deadly Jack Daniels. You have to get close but a whiskey bottle can kill.

              1. Guns and obama and biden

                Sorry sir but it’s only the democrats that want to take away your guns and your freedom not Republicans.

          2. KAREN BAKER


            THANK YOU! I hate these apples and oranges comparisons, as you put it! All I was doing, in my original post, was pointing out the differences in the two states’ gun laws.

      1. Melanie


        My God,Why? I just wish All This Hate and Senseless Behavior Would Stop.My husband and I go to Amish Country every 2-3 year’s to observe And Interact with plain people.My heart goes out to their families.This just Aaden’s me so much.

    3. Paula

      Karen Baker

      I can attest that what Karen says is true. My son is a cop in Indiana, north of Indy. While on a ride along with him, one of our stops had a gun under the drivers seat. He checked & she had legal ownership…even though she had felony convictions. The gun was returned to her when a search of the car turned up nothing. He suspected there were drugs on her person, specifically in her private area, as his K9 hit on the drivers seat. But a further search of her person would require a warrant, & then it would be promptly thrown out of court. So he let her go.

      It’s very shocking, especially since I live in NY. I believe a lot of guns in Chicago come from Indiana.

      I am so sorry for this poor innocent family that became victims of such evil. Is it any wonder why the Amish avoid the English world?

    4. Dea

      Worthington, IN

      This is indeed a tragedy. However, I would like to offer some information about the town of Worthington which is located in Jefferson Township, Greene County, Indiana, United States. The population of Worthington was 1,463 at the 2010 United States Census.
      It is still an active town, not Amish nor Mennonite, but there are Amish and Mennonite communities nearby. We visited Worthington recently, it is located southwest of Bloomington, IN. Two state highways intersect the town.

      1. Dea thanks for the comment. Just to clarify, the reference to Worthington not existing was not meaning the town itself, but the Amish community that once lie in its vicinity.

        When discussing Amish communities we often use the name of the town or county to refer to the Amish settlement, which I understand can generate some confusion if people are not aware of that practice (wait a minute, that town didn’t just disappear!:)).

        The Amish community was recorded as going extinct in 2012, which can happen when the Amish residents move away or join more progressive church groups for example. I’m not sure what happened in this case.

        1. Al in Ky

          For several years, I have been reading news from the Worthington plain community sent in to The Budget newspaper. If my memory is correct, several years ago (likely 2012), many in the Worthington settlement left the New Order Amish but remained together as a church in the Worthington area and have a church building. I do not know what Anabaptist (or other) affiliation they are now a part of. A few who wanted to remain Amish moved to other Amish communities. It was interesting to read the Worthington scribe’s report, as the community was making the transition to car-driving, of their taking loads of buggies to other communities to be sold. The scribe continues to send in news to The Budget, now using the heading of “Worthington Christian Fellowship”.

    5. AJ

      I don’t buy that it was an opportunistic only assault. They got what they wanted so what where was the opportunity in shooting the 2? Clearly something else motivated them beside just the money, and that should be discussed.

      Amish Lives Matter.

    6. Al in Ky

      In the link below is an article from Anabaptist World (formerly Mennonite World Review) giving information about this tragedy that happened to Jonathan and Wilma Hochstetler.