Update on Newton car burglary/shooting case
Newton Police have received numerous requests from community members and the media for an update about the car burglary and shooting in Newton on Oct. 15. Unfortunately, we have not had a breakthrough in the case.
The homeowner, Bob Brenneman, has been interviewed six times but is still unable to give us a complete picture of the incident. He does not remember some details, and some elements of his story are inconsistent with physical evidence from the scene.
Mr. Brenneman says that he witnessed a man trying to break into his vehicle at about 8:30 p.m. While his wife called 911, Mr. Brenneman says he confronted the suspect and the two got into a scuffle. Mr. Brenneman was shot, the bullet passing through his abdomen and striking his left arm. Mr. Brenneman says the suspect then fled to the north on foot. Two K-9 units, including one Master Tracker dog, were unable to pick up any scent trail for the suspect leaving the scene. A trail of blood was later found leading from the vehicle to some bushes to the south, where a handgun belonging to Mr. Brenneman was found.
Mr. Brenneman described the suspect as a white male with facial hair in his mid-20s, approximately 5'9" tall, but he was unable to describe the man’s face.
Because of Mr. Brenneman's report that the suspect fled north, North Newton Police alerted Bethel College, and the campus was put on lockdown. Police began receiving reports of suspicious activity and gunshots at Bethel, and officers were pulled away from the crime scene to investigate those reports to 911, which were unsubstantiated.
Newton Police continue to investigate this case, but the conflicting evidence has hindered our progress. We are still waiting on results of testing on the weapon and blood found at the scene.
We ask again that if you have any information about the incident, please call 911 or use our anonymous tip line. We will keep the public updated as we can.
As always, the safety of our community is our top priority. Please keep all vehicles locked, and do not store valuables in your vehicle. If you do witness an attempted car burglary, do not confront the suspect. Call 911 and report it to police.