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Hammer attacker ‘calmly’ walked out and told colleagues ‘s— happens’ after bashing coworker’s head in: Cops

Austin Hahn (IMPD)

Austin Hahn (IMPD)

A 27-year-old man in Indiana was arrested for allegedly attacking his friend and coworker with a hammer while working at a sheet metal company, leaving the victim with severe head injuries. Austin Hahn was taken into custody after being turned in by his mother last week and charged with one count each of attempted murder, aggravated battery, and battery by means of a deadly weapon, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to a call at around 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 20 about a possible battery at the Bright Sheet Metal Company on West 71st Street, according to a copy of the arrest report obtained by Indianapolis Fox affiliate WXIN.

Once there, first responders found a man with injuries to his head and face, the station reported. He was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where doctors treated him for injuries, including multiple skull fractures, brain bleeds, a punctured jaw, and missing teeth. The victim was admitted in serious but stable condition, the report states.

In an interview with police, the victim — whose name was not released by authorities — said he was at his workstation when he was suddenly struck in the back of the head and went unconscious. He reportedly could not identify his attacker but told investigators that his other colleagues inevitably would have seen the assailant.

The other employees on duty that day told investigators that the victim was working at his station — which he shared with Hahn — when the suspect came up behind him unprovoked and started hitting him with a hammer. Witnesses said that Hahn used a tinner hammer in the attack.

Several of Hahn’s colleagues reportedly said Hahn and the victim had been “the best of friends” until an argument several weeks before the attack. One employee told police Hahn had apologized to the victim after the argument, and everything seemed fine — until Hahn allegedly decided to attack the victim.

Witnesses reportedly said Hahn used the pointed end of the tinner hammer and struck the victim about six or seven times in the head. He reportedly threw the hammer in the trash while “calmly” walking out the back of the warehouse. One employee who was out back and did not see the attack and was unaware of the situation said that Hahn tossed the hammer into the trash and walked past him, pausing momentarily to pat him on the chest and say, “S— happens,” WXIN reported. Hahn then continued walking to his car and drove away.

The suspect reportedly drove to his mother’s house. She then phoned the Anderson Police Department and told them her son was at the home, and police arrested him there.

Hahn is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 19. His defense attorney, Larry Arnold Minnix, did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime seeking comment.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.