Man arrested after woman found shot at City-County Building charged with murder

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 23, 2015)-- A man has been charged with murder after a woman was found shot inside a truck near the City-County Building. She died on February 13.

Police found Azya Knowles inside a bullet-riddled pickup truck in downtown Indianapolis on February 11. Police arrested William Smith on a gun charge in connection with the case. On Monday, he was formally charged with murder.

Azya Knowles

Azya Knowles

According to court documents, Smith drove to the City-County Building.  An officer noticed a handgun in Smith’s hand, so the officer drew his weapon and told the truck to stop.  Smith complied and was immediately taken into custody. Police said Smith disclosed he had $30,000 in the vehicle and that he had been chased and shot at by unknown people.

In an interview with police, Smith said the incident occurred in the area of Michigan and Lynn streets. However, police said they found no evidence a shooting took place there.  Authorities said Smith was unable to provide information about who may have been involved in the shooting.

Knowles' autopsy showed that she had sustained three gunshot wounds to the head.

"You know when you get that gut feeling that something just isn't right?" said Pastor Marvin Churchwell of the Life in the Spirit Community Church.

Churchwell said he witnessed Smith drive by his Haughville church hours before Smith arrived at the City-County Building.

"He looked at me as if he wanted to say something. He looked very concerned," said Churchwell.

Smith told police that he drove Knowles downtown immediately following the shooting, however, Churchwell's version of the story contradicts Smith's statement.

"I’m not trying to be a hero or be anything like that. I’m just trying to help my community where my church is," said Churchwell.

Knowles' viewing and funeral are set for Tuesday.

Smith will make his first court appearance on Wednesday.


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