Murdered delivery driver had safety concerns over dangerous neighborhoods

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 4 2015) -- A delivery driver was killed on the job while delivering food Tuesday night near 21st Street and Mitthoeffer Road.

The driver then crashed into an apartment building and died on the scene.

“I heard a big crash and looked outside and saw this mess,” said neighbor Jonathan Cave.

The victim worked at a small Chinese restaurant called China King as a part-time driver.

“Somebody got robbed and killed, I mean that’s unfortunate,” said nearby business owner Eliu Fontanez.

Friends and family identified the victim as Mark Miller.  He was 27 years old.

Miller's family tells CBS4 he had only been working at China King for the past six months.  Prior to working there, Miller worked as a delivery driver for another restaurants but quit because he was worried about going into dangerous neighborhoods.

"They had asked him to go somewhere where he knew was unsafe, where he knew someone had been accosted before and he had enough of being asked to do that so he left," said Valerie Flick, Miller's sister.

Last week, the owner at the same China King business reported being robbed and beaten by as many as seven suspects.

“He got roughed up pretty good. He went to the hospital,” said Fontanez.

Fontanez owns a catering business next to the China King, which also had a third driver robbed two weeks ago. That got the China King’s owner to voice concerns about the dangers of delivering food on the east side.

“He did voice some concern and said he didn’t know if he could continue delivering with his drivers getting jumped,” said Fontanez.

A few days ago was the last time Julie Garner saw her son. The two talked about the violence and his safety.

“I was fearful for  his life and of something bad happening. Of course, Mark always reassures me he’ll be fine, he’s OK, he’s in and out he makes it quick. I know deep down that was a concern of him, too,” said Julie Garner, Miller’s mom.

Miller’s death is the 120th homicide in the city this year.

His shooting came just hours after Joe Hogsett celebrated his victory as the city’s next mayor. Hogsett promises improving public safety will be his top priority.

“The short-term solution is better law enforcement and hopefully we can stem the tide of gun related violence and the uptick in homicides,” said Hogsett.

So far no arrests have been made. Police continue to search for two male suspects.

Investigators urge anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-TIPS (8477).

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the victim's family.  Miller's band is planning a show in his honor for Jan. 9 at 5th Quarter Lounge.

 

Google Map for coordinates 39.799860 by -85.988777.

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