Family of murder victim pleads for answers, end to gun violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With the new year off to a peaceful start in Indianapolis, a violent 2017 was fresh in the minds of many families.

IMPD recorded 154 murders in 2017, breaking the previous record of 149 murders — including 21-year-old Ryan Brown.

Brown’s mother and sister say the pain of their loss is still raw, and they hope to see an end to violence in the city they call home.

Brown’s mother, Renee Roby, showed 24-Hour News 8 family photos of happy memories frozen in time.

“It’s hard to go into a new year. I feel like I’m leaving him behind,” Roby said.

Her oldest son, Ryan Brown, was taken from her just a few weeks ago.

“Ambition. Drive. Never gave up,” she said with a smile as she described her oldest son.

“One minute I’m fine. The next minute I’m not. The next minute, I’m a mess. Then I have to get it together. I can hear my son: ‘Mom, be strong. I’m still with you. Just in a different way,'” Roby said.

The oldest of five children, Brown was on the right track, according to his mother. She says he was home on winter break from Vincennes University, where he was a freshman with plans to become a neurosurgeon.

“I was so proud of him, to even know where he was headed, where he wanted to be. He won’t get the chance to do that,” she said.

Brown died on the night on Dec. 11 after being shot at the Hillcrest Woods Apartments near 65th Street and Shadeland Avenue, according to IMPD. His mother said he was with friends at the time.

“He surrounded himself with friends. They didn’t help him. He died alone. Those friends aren’t coming forward,” she explained.

No one has been arrested, leaving Brown’s family pleading for answers.

“Please come forward,” his mother pleaded. “You never know, down the line, it may be your turn. Justice for Ryan is what I’m looking for.”

Brown’s death was the 149th murder of the year.

Rev. Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition said his organization, like Brown’s family, wants to help stop gun violence in 2018: “It’s really gonna take a city-wide effort. We’ve got to find someone that leads the effort to bring everybody together to tackle this problem, which is an epidemic now.”

“Put the guns down. When you shoot somebody, when the gun goes off, you’re killing somebody’s brother,” said Brown’s sister Alexis Sallee.

Genae Cook, a spokesperson with Indianapolis Metro Police Department, says Brown’s case is active and detectives are working on it.

Ryan’s mother is offering her own $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

If you know anything that could help investigators, you’re asked to all Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.