'Ding Dong Ditch' shooting victim in ICU, neighbor charged


by Joe Arnold


Posted on June 14, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 14 at 10:44 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) A Louisville man is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a 12-year-old neighbor boy who rang his doorbell then ran away.

Police arrested Michael Bishop, 56, at his home on Hall Farm Drive in the Glenmary subdivision in southeast Jefferson County at 4 a.m. Tuesday, about six hours after the shotgun blast.

Neighbors tell WHAS11 News that 12-year-old Jacob Eberle is in the intensive care unit at Kosair Children's Hospital.  Police say he is expected to recover but the family has requested that no information be released about his condition.

Police believe that Eberle was one of a group of boys playing "Ding Dong Ditch," ringing door bells in the neighborhood then running.

"It's summer," said Wayne McDowell, who lives catty-corner to Bishop, "School's out and they're out being kids."

But - by all accounts - one neighbor lost patience with the prank last night.

"I was on the phone with my wife and I heard the gunshot," McDowell continued.

"I think there were some other kids who had been ringing his doorbell before he got mad, came out and didn't even warn the kids," added Jim Natsis.

A witness told police that a man emerged from Bishop's front door, stood on the porch, racked the shotgun and then fired.

"The kids started scattering," Natsis said, "ran into the houses and told the parents."

Eberle ran about 100 yards before stopping in Natsis' front yard.

"I'm worried about the little boy, I heard he had a lung punctured. He had a lot of shot in his back," McDowell said, still shaken from the sight of the boy's upper back riddled with shotgun pellets.

"Oh gosh, probably had 200 (pellet wounds)," McDowell recalled, "looked like he took 75 percent of the blast.  And his head was bleeding to where they had to hold towels on it.  It wasn't good.  Just make you sick."

While neighbors and paramedics treated Eberle, Bishop sat on his front porch about 100 yards away talking with police as officers waited for a search warrant.

"The world has changed," commented LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell, "obviously quite a bit when you have individuals and people in the world that don't look at things as childsplay anymore that used to be."

Metro Police say Bishop had not called police to complain about pranks either last night or anytime this year.

Bishop is being held on $10,000 bond and is due in court Wednesday morning.  Bishop has been arrested twice before - in 1990 and 1995 for DUI.

McDowell can't believe that the pleasant neighbor he just spoke with during a garage sale over the weekend is the same man charged with attempted murder today.

"He's a super nice guy," said McDowell, "I told the police last night, I said, 'you need to go over there because somebody must be in Mike's house.'  It couldn't have been him."

It is a sense of disbelief rippling throughout the Glenmary subdivision.

"Really shocked," said neighbor John Dippold, "because it's a quiet neighborhood and we enjoy seeing all the kids play and everybody seems well behaved."

The shotgun blast is still echoing in the neighborhood, triggering conversations between parents and children about pulling pranks.

"It scared me for the fact that I have teenage kids," said Donna Parker, "They wouldn't be outside pranking people at all.  But, it just really bothered me."

One blast from a shotgun has sent a 12-year-old to the ICU, the alleged shooter to jail and a neighborhood into shock.

"I wanted to take out my dog this morning and I was kind of scared to go outside," said 17-year-old Mercedes Parker, " I don't want to go outside."