Family, friends, teammates remember 10-year-old Indianapolis boy 3 years since murder

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Each year De’Shaun Swanson’s family gathers in Tarkington Park to celebrate the 10-year-old’s life. They release balloons into the air and pass out fliers, reminding neighbors the child’s murder is still not solved.

“I really don’t have no words. I just show them. Everyone just looks at the paper, like wow,” Swanson’s sister, Shyanne Morris, said.

It’s a plea for someone who knows something about his murder to come forward. He was killed during a drive-by shooting, but police say there is not a lot of physical evidence.

“He played at this park daily, he ran this area daily, so for him to lose his life over here and no one over here speak up, it’s hurtful it really is,” Shannon Swanson, his mother, said.

The park is also where Swanson played football with the youth team, the Indy Steelers. The team carries on his memory and legacy with each practice and tries to steer youth away from violence.

“Describing his heart, but as well as the fact he was the littlest guy on the team but probably the biggest hear and just continue to play like he did,” the team’s vice president, Darryl Smith said.

While they try to focus on remembering De’Shaun this week, coincidentally though, they’re also having to teach kids another lesson after finding their equipment destroyed.

“For them to come out and see somebody that vandalized their stuff, I think it took a lot out of them,” the team’s president, Donnell Hamilton, said.

The coaches said they found their chute and sled, which were donated to help the kids practice, torn apart when they got to practice Monday night after an away game in Michigan over the weekend. The kids had questions.

“It was just another teaching moment. Show kids sometimes stuff’s not gonna go your way, unplanned things will happen, you just gotta keep going, keep pushing and find another way to attack your goal,” Smith said.

Wednesday, the equipment was a small piece of the background. The team’s focus remained on De’Shaun.

“It’s been three years and it seems like it’s yesterday and it’s still not too late to speak up, to say something,” Swanson said.

“It’s like a code of silence going on where no one wants to speak on what’s going on, but like when it’s a 10-year old being killed somebody has to say something,” Morris said.

If you know anything, call police or Crimestoppers at 262-TIPS.

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