Family speaks after teen was shot over a pair of shoes

(WISH Photo)
(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A teenager was shot and killed over a pair of shoes and now, his family is speaking out.

The shooting happened on the 5700 block of Port Lillian Drive, near Lynhurst and Rockville Road on the city’s west side Friday night.

16-year-old Juan Romero died five days later.

Police say the suspect or suspects didn’t even get away with the shoes.

“We just celebrated his birthday in September,” said Juan’s step mother Deborah Romero.

One of the last photos taken of Juan was at his 16th birthday party, and for his family, it is worth so much more than a thousand words. Juan’s dad, Jacinto Romero says his son insisted they celebrate, even though Jacinto didn’t have much money. Juan just wanted him there. Through tears, he remembers his son’s humility.

“You don’t have a lot of money, it’s ok. Dad, you come with me,” Jacinto continued, “Broken. My son is my life. Now, he’s not here. My son is my heart.”

Police say somebody shot the 16-year old Ben Davis student. Family says he was shot at least five times, maybe more, all over a pair of shoes. Juan fought for his life, but died on Tuesday.

“That’ anybody with just normal…would just do that, over a pair of shoes. We can’t even put our minds to it. It’s still just mind boggling,” said Deborah.

Deborah is her husband’s crutch, holding him as they try to make sense of it all.

“You just didn’t take his life. You took ours too. (You) took a part of us. (You) took a part of everybody else that’s around him,” she said.

From here, Juan’s family can only hope for closure.

“We just want this to be over with because if they do something like this, it could happen to anybody,” said Deborah.

Because this happened outside an apartment community, police believe somebody out there knows something. They’re asking you to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS with information.

Funeral arrangements have not been made because the coroner has not released the body. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with expenses.