FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Police arrested a Gary, Indiana man on Tuesday in Indianapolis as he got off a Greyhound bus and charged him with the the murder of a Fort Wayne business owner.
Jamel Coleman, 22, is accused of killing Antonio Lopez Nino, 44, the owner of the Smoke House Tobacco Outlet on Lafayette Street on the morning of April 7, 2014 in what investigators believe was an armed robbery attempt.
A customer saw Nino’s body on the floor of the business through a window and called police. Officers found him lying in a pool of blood with his hands duct taped behind his back.
Shortly after the killing, surveillance photos were released to the media. At a Wednesday morning news conference announcing Coleman’s arrest, Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said tips from the public were a critical part of the investigation.
Investigators believe Coleman was living at a residence near the tobacco shop and it was a tip that informed police that he would be taking a bus from Muncie to Indianapolis.
According to court documents, Coleman admitted to police he had been smoking marijuana and synthetic marijuana commonly known as “Spice” and he had just wanted what was in Nino’s wallet, not anything from the store. During questioning, Coleman told police he used the gun to scare Nino and when Nino tried to get the gun from him the two struggled. Coleman was able to get Nino on the floor where he then tied up his hands with duct tape. Coleman told police he used Nino’s gun in the killing because the gun he had wouldn’t fire.
He then fled with Nino’s wallet, which contained $100 to $200 in it, along with the two guns and threw them in the river by the Old Fort.
During questioning, Coleman also told police that if he wouldn’t have been able to rob Nino, he would have held up the Treasure House thrift shop located next door.
Coleman is facing charges of murder, felony murder and armed robbery causing death. He’s being held in the Allen County Lockup.
To read the probable cause affidavit detailing the investigation, click here.