Murder No. 100: 34-year-old shot in ‘horrific’ scene downtown

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department investigates on South Meridian Street and the railroad overpass downtown after a fatal shooting in the early morning of Sept. 21, 2017. (WISH Photo/Kevin Ratermann)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A shooting in downtown Indianapolis now marks the 100th murder for the city after a man was found dead near a parking lot.

It happened early Thursday morning on South Meridian and West Louisiana.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 34-year-old Johnny Woods. Police said officers in the area heard gunshots, they ran to check, and saw the victim on the sidewalk.

One witness told 24-Hour News 8 he was nearby and saw what happened. The shooting happened right after bars closed for the night around 3 a.m. with customers leaving and heading home.

“I was downtown here on the bar strip and I was underneath the bridge and I heard some arguing and I heard gunshots and there was probably 8 to 10 of them,” he said.

The witness asked us not to show his face on camera and described the scene as “horrific.”

“The guy was laying there, blood everywhere,” he said. “He collapsed underneath, right underneath the Meridian Street underpass right on the outside of it.”

Police believe the 34-year-old victim got into an argument with the suspect in a nearby parking lot.

Police said the suspect shot the victim multiple times before driving off.

“We do have a preliminary suspect info of a black male with dreads, red T-shirt, driving a dark green or blue older Chevy pickup truck,” said Capt. Michael Elder of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The shooting is alarming, especially for people who spend time downtown. Patrick Allison was headed to a job interview late Thursday afternoon.

“It happens too frequently, and I feel like people are too quick to make decisions that they’re going to regret for a long long long time,” said Allison.

Other people, including Gino Serra, said he used to work downtown.

“I’m kind of shocked by it because I used to bounce at Kilroy’s (a bar and grill) and spend a lot of time at The Pub behind me (on Georgia Street) and I’ve never experienced anything like that,” said Serra.

Serra said he’s never had any issue with safety downtown and knows police are doing everything they can to make sure everyone is safe.

“The police presence downtown is always been very strong from what I’ve experienced so it’s just my thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family,” said Serra.

At this time, police said, the shooting doesn’t appear to be random. Police are still checking with bars and restaurants in the area to see if any of their cameras may have recorded the argument and shooting.

If you have any information that could help police with the investigation please call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-8477.