Friends and family react after Westfield man is found beaten to death in a parking lot

WESTFIELD, Ind. --  A 24-year-old Westfield man is found beaten to death in a parking lot.

According to the Westfield Police Department, officers were dispatched to the 17200 block of Gunther Boulevard around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday where they found an injured man lying in a parking lot.

Police won’t say exactly what led up to the death, but friends and family say drugs are to blame.

Opening her garage door a neighbor named Jane Flanders saw a man lying injured on the ground.

“I went over to see if he was alive and my first impression was he was dead,” said Flanders.

Flanders says the victim Cory Zimmer had his face beaten, swollen and covered in blood.  Jane called 911 but didn’t see any other signs of injury while trying to comfort the dying 24-year-old.

“I tried to talk to him and told him he was okay, but his teeth were all knocked out and blood was really bad,” said Flanders.

“My family is absolutely heartbroken,” said Zimmer’s close friend Daniel Zuluaga.

Daniel says he was assaulted by one of the suspects and Cory came to the defense of his long-time friend leading to the fatal assault.

“He cared about my future and I cared about his future and that’s what really matters,” said Zuluaga.

“It was over marijuana and it wasn’t much,” said Zimmer’s mother Rhonda Zimmer.

Rhonda says her son struggled with mental illness and drug addiction, but always had a kind heart.

“Cory was about love and he cared about people,” said Zimmer.

While no arrests have been made in Zimmer’s death, Westfield police say the general public is not in danger.

“The info we’ve received so far leads us to believe this is not a random act of violence,” said Westfield police Capt. Charles Hollowell.

Still, violent crime is very rare in Westfield making it hard for witnesses as well as Zimmer’s friends and family to comprehend the death.

“We are in a relatively safe place, so it was pretty traumatic,” said Flanders.

“This is a big wakeup call and it says we’re all in this together,” said Zuluaga.

Police say the last homicide in Westfield took place in December of 2013, exactly 3 years ago.

Police urge anyone with information about the case or who may have seen a suspicious person or activity in the area to call the Westfield Criminal Investigations Division at (317) 773-1300 or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS (8477).