IMPD seeks public’s help with information in walker’s murder

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – UPDATE: Donations have quickly come in as the community shows support for the family of a man killed on the west side while on a morning walk Tuesday.

More than $22,000 was raised by 9 a.m. Wednesday, and the donation site had been up and running for only about 13 hours. Many of the donations were anonymous. Click here to donate.

The original story appears below:

From early evening on into the night Tuesday, patrol cars and extra eyes watched the streets where an innocent man was gunned down.

“This is a safe city and that’s why this murder is particularly troubling because this is a gentleman who was just living his life, who was shot dead for absolutely no reason,” said IMPD Southwest District Commander David Hofmann.

That man was an avid walker; a 24-year-old newlywed with his first child on the way.

Tuesday night, IMPD commanders said they won’t rest until the people who took his life are behind bars. They have set up an incident command center at 16th and Tibbs, across the street from where the murder happened.

Picture of Trapuzzano posted at the incident command center at 16th and Tibbs (WISH Photo)
Picture of Trapuzzano posted at the incident command center at 16th and Tibbs (WISH Photo)

Police have now put up a picture of the victim, Nathan Trapuzzano, reminding officers why they are here: to look for the men responsible for his death.

Police plan to canvass the area over the next couple days, asking everyone for information, and talking with the community.

Late Tuesday afternoon, IMPD released surveillance video taken from outside a tire store moments before the shooting. It showed the victim walking towards the right of the screen with a suspect quickly trying to catch up. A short time later, both come back into view.

  • VIDEO | View the surveillance video at the bottom of this story.

Police said while one man forced Trapuzzano between two businesses, another other acted as a lookout.

“You can’t even say it’s a shame, it’s worse than that. You know what I mean. It’s senseless situations,” said James Deamus-el of Indianapolis.

Deamus-el couldn’t make out the words to describe the news he heard. His neighbor, Trapuzzano, was shot and killed while out on his morning walk.

“From seeing him on various occasions, he always did the same thing everyday. He ran and he participated in his own thing. He didn’t bother no one,” Deamus-el said.

“I think it’s pretty scary to have this right in your own neighborhood,” said Tammy Johns.

Deamus-el lived two houses away from Trapuzzano. He said he didn’t talk much, but on occasion they would have a conversation.

“He got comfortable enough to start waving and then as time went on, he started speaking and then we stopped one or two times and kicked it back and forth,” he said.

Police say Trapuzzano just got married last May and was soon to become a new father. His family released a picture of him to police of him and his pregnant wife.

Trapuzzano pictured with his wife. (Provided Photo)
Trapuzzano pictured with his wife. (Provided Photo)

News of his death has sent shock waves throughout the city, but especially, his west side neighborhood.

“It’s just sad; makes me want to go and get out of this town; go find another little county, but no matter where you go, you’re going to have this,” Johns said.

Deamus-el is hoping the shootings all stop.

“I wish everyone could just come together collectively and get along; everybody in the whole universe,” he said.

Police specifically want to talk to the people driving in this area between 5:45 a.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesday, hoping they may have witnessed the shooting and the suspects. They said they might have information that can help solve this case. But it’s not only them: they say anyone with information can help.

“Any neighbor, or anyone who’s heard rumors about this incident,” said Southwest District Commander Hofmann. “If you heard a name, a motive, stolen property–if it’s something that we don’t know about, we’d love to find out and track down those leads.”

Hofmann says they believe the suspects may live in the area. He says they will stay highly visible in the area, with officers reporting there for roll call from the Northwest and Southwest Districts, for the next couple days.

“We’re urging anyone who has information to come forward,” Hofmann added. “We understand people may not want to come forward with information for fear of being identified, and if that’s the case, we want to get the message out: we don’t care how we get the information about how this murder happened. We just want the information. We will protect any source of information as best we can.”

“This is going to be our headquarters, until we figure out what’s going on with this crime,” he said.

Friends have set up a fundraising website for funeral expenses, and for Nathan’s soon-to-be born baby, here.

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