INDIANAPOLIS - Police are searching for two suspects after an expectant father was fatally shot on the city's west side during a routine walk Tuesday morning.
Police said the victim had no criminal history and was beloved in the neighborhood.
Indianapolis police (IMPD) said the report came in just before 6 a.m. that a man had been shot in the 3500 block of West 16th Street. He was found shot in the abdomen outside near Tron Tire Shop. (IMPD originally said it was a woman, but later corrected that.)
Investigators said the man was found outside Tron Tire Shop. A passerby spotted the man lying on the pavement and called 911, police said.
At 7:40 a.m., IMPD said the victim, later identified as 24-year-old Nathan Trapuzzano, died of his injuries after being taken to Eskenazi Health in critical condition.
Detectives believe Trapuzzano was out on his usual morning walk, not far from home, when he was approached by two suspects. One suspect kept watch while the other suspect forced Trapuzzano between two businesses and shot him after a struggle, police said.
Trapuzzano was a computer programmer who moved to Indianapolis last year from Pennsylvania to get married. Officials said he had a baby on the way.
IMPD said no suspects have been identified yet, but surveillance video shows Trapuzzano being approached by a suspect. The suspect directs Trapuzzano in between the two businesses. A second suspect enters the picture and then one of the suspects can be seen running away.
The homicide has angered police who are stepping up their presence in the area for all to see.
"Had his whole life in front of him, never been in trouble before, never been a problem, was minding his own business, doing what anybody in our community should be able to do and that is to take a morning walk," IMPD Cmdr. David Hofmann said.
Police are still working to determine a motive, but one theory is that Trapuzzano was killed over the headphones he was wearing, officials said.
Trapuzzano's family released a statement Wednesday:
"Nathan Trapuzzano was the most kind-hearted person you would ever know. He never had an unkind thought in his head. He was so in love wife his wife Jennifer, and unborn baby daughter, Cecelia. He was so excited about being a new Daddy.The loss of this very, very special young man has been such a shock to our entire family.As with many tragedies, this seems so senseless and yet the outpouring of love and support reminds us that there is so much good in this world. Nate would not want us to become angry, but rather focus on the good and what is yet to come.Nate had an unbelievable, strong faith in God, and we are finding some comfort knowing he is now in the Lord’s loving embrace."
Friends and family have set up a fund to help cover funeral expenses. Anything left over will go toward the baby, friends said. After only one day, the fund raised more than $17,000 and continues to grow.
Anyone who was in the area or has information on this incident is asked to report it to police at 317-327-3475 or report information anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477 (TIPS). Tips may also be texted with "INDYCS" to 274637.
Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1