Witness to murder speaks out after Indy man is killed trying to buy video game system

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Two weeks ago, an Indianapolis man was fatally shot while trying to buy a video game system he found online. Now, his fiancé who witnessed the murder is speaking out.

“I want him with me and he’s not here. I’ve got pictures. That’s it,” said Millicent Wootten. “It’s a nightmare I can’t wake up from.”

Through tears, Wootten explained how Chad Laplante found a PS4 he wanted to buy on either Offerup or Letgo, two different online exchange sites.

When Chad, Wootten and three other friends came to 32nd and Emerson to meet the supposed seller, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot Chad in the back as he tried to run for safety. Unfortunately, the case still remains unsolved.

“Chad pushed guy out his face and ran back to the car and the guy shot him,” said Wootten. “It was a cowardly act and I hate that man.”

After the shooting, the two suspects sped away from the scene in a black Trailblazer with dealer plates, while Wootten and the other witnesses drove the bleeding victim to the hospital.

“I didn’t know how long it was going to take to call. I didn’t want to stick around in case they came back and tried to shoot us all,” said Wootten.

Laplante, who worked as a local tree trimmer, fought to survive for more than three weeks at a local hospital before passing away.

“I’d get so mad at him because he trusted everybody. I’d say there are bad people, but he thought everyone had a heart like him and obviously not,” said Wootten.

Investigators with IMPD admit that robberies involving online exchange apps are a growing trend and warn everyone to be careful meeting up with strangers to avoid what happened to Laplante.

IMPD has designated its six district headquarters as e-commerce safe zones, including the following location:

  • HEADQUARTERS: 50 N Alabama St.
  • DOWNTOWN: 39 W Jackson Pl.
  • NORTHWEST: 3821 Industrial Blvd.
  • NORTH: 3120 E 30th St.
  • EAST: 201 Shadeland Ave.
  • SOUTHEAST: 1150 Shelby St.
  • SOUTHWEST: 551 King Ave.

Laplante’s murder marked the 18th criminal homicide of the year. At the same time last year, the city had seen 14 murders. Anyone with information on the case is still asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

After the death, the city has seen a rare break from violence. It’s been more than two weeks since anyone has been murdered in Indianapolis.

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