Man who purchased gun found at Zionsville homicide scene arrested, police investigate other ‘person(s) of interest’

Photo from crime scene in Zionsville on April 29, 2019

ZIONSVILLE, Ind.– Police in Zionsville say they’ve identified “person(s) of interest” in a homicide near the Big-4 Rail Trail.

A 23-year-old man was found dead early Sunday morning in Zionsville in a small retention pond on the Rail Trail near the Quail Run Apartments.

The man, identified as Samuel Thomas Bennett, of Zionsville, died from apparent gunshot wounds, according to police.

As police investigated the case, they arrested one person, but not for the homicide. According to court documents, the arrest was for David Meschino, 28, of Zionsville. He faces one count of attempted providing firearm to ineligible person.

Meschino told police he recently purchased three guns for another man. CBS4 is not identifying that man at this time because he is not facing any charges at this time.

David Meschino

That man told Meschino he couldn’t buy guns himself due to a felony on his record, but said it was going to be expunged soon, according to court documents.

When police asked Meschino why he purchased the guns, he said someone had “beef with (the man)” and the man was worried.

On the day of the shooting, police found a Charter Arm 357 revolver in a wooded area near the Town Hall and Rail Trail. That gun was confirmed to be one purchased by Meschino.

Court documents show police searched the man’s home and found receipt paperwork from the revolver, as well as an owner’s manual.

Investigators said Thursday they are pursuing other person(s) of interest who have been identified but their names were not released. The investigation is still active.

Statement from Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak:

 It has been an extremely difficult week for Zionsville with the homicide investigation that began on April 28.

I want to thank the Zionsville Police Department, Boone County Homicide Task Force, Boone County prosecutor’s office and our public safety partners for their hard work. Safety has always been, and will always be, a priority for the town.

When neighbors come together and have a comfortable relationship with police officers, there is a better chance of fighting crime. Chief Knox and the entire department make it a priority to engage with the community through various monthly events and speaking engagements with residents, HOAs, organizations and businesses.

Our officers have always regularly patrolled our parks and trails, but you may see increased patrols on the Big-4 Rail Trail. Feel free to show the officers your support if you see them on your daily walks.

We hope you continue to use the trail, one of our most valued assets, but follow the advice of Chief Knox and carry a cell phone, use the “buddy system,” know the parks and trails hours (sunrise to sunset) and always report something that doesn’t seem right. In the future, as part of our process for expanding the Big-4 Rail Trail both north and south, we plan to add wayfinding signs/mile markers along that trail with specific location identifiers so emergency personnel can easily find a person (similar to the trail signs in Starkey Park).

I know there are a lot of questions regarding this investigation. Out of respect to the integrity of the investigation, please know that the entire Zionsville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, along with multiple agencies, are on track with where they need to be in this investigation.

Editor’s note: A push alert sent from this story said the gun was used in the shooting. Police have not confirmed that. The gun was found at the scene and our story has been updated to reflect that.

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