INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN/CNN) - An official with the Indianapolis branch of the letter carriers’ union says the union believes the fatal shooting of a local mail carrier may have happened due to problems with the residents in a house on her route.
Tony Cushingberry, 21, was arrested Tuesday on accusations that he fatally shot 45-year-old mail carrier Angela Summers in the chest while she was on her route Monday afternoon in Indianapolis.
Charges against Cushingberry are pending review by the United States Attorney’s Office. Killing a federal employee on duty is a federal charge that could come with a life sentence.
After the arrest, Paul Toms, the president of the local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, revealed Summers expressed concerns about certain people living at the house where the fatal shooting occurred.
He said the union believes this is over the person inside the home not receiving their stimulus check from her deliveries. Their mail had been stopped for about two weeks, requiring residents to pick it up instead. The measure was instituted after several notes left by Summers, urging the owners of a small dog to keep it away from her while she delivered mail.
“Yes, there was a history on this for quite a while, as I understand it,” Toms said. “I want something like this to never happen again. It should never happen.”
Police have not confirmed any details about what led to the shooting, but Summers leaves behind a teenage daughter and a community trying to make sense of the violence.
“Of everything, her daughter was first, and that’s why she worked hard,” said the Rev. Michael Davis, pastor at Unity of Indianapolis. “To have someone so integral to the community and to have their life taken so quickly and violently, it’s hard to understand that.”
Davis says Summers served as a board member for the church and remembers her outgoing and outspoken personality.
“Angela was quick with a laugh,” he said. “Also, she was quick with her opinion. You never questioned what Angela was thinking because she would let you know.”
Since Summers’ death, neighbors in the community have put up tribute ribbons to honor her. Melissa Hardy, Summers’ friend of 15 years, says she isn’t surprised that everyone is in mourning.
“She loved people. She loved the people on her route. She worried about the older people on her route during this time. She always carried treats, and she would give the dogs treats on her route,” Hardy said.
Hardy wants people to remember mail carriers are human and should be treated with respect.
“Nobody deserves this, and she definitely didn’t deserve this,” Hardy said.
The investigation is ongoing.