INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It was on Race Day 2018 as most of Indianapolis was preparing to crown the winner of last year’s 500 Mile Race when a man wearing a hiking backpack walked into a Dollar General store in the 5400 block of Emerson Way, announced a stick up and fatally wounded the clerk on duty.
“It was horrible,” said IMPD Homicide Detective Brian Lambert. “He was behind the counter and down on the floor. He had been shot and it was a pretty horrific scene”
Dead was Brian Eure, 41, a cashier who, his family said, had complained to Dollar General about being robbed before.
Surveillance video captured the killer walking through the store in the minutes before the attempted robbery and then apparently becoming irate when Eure reached for the panic button to alert police of a robbery in progress.
Lambert said there were two clerks on duty at that moment.
“He talks to the clerks, both of them, and when he indicates that he’s robbing the store, then of course the victim hits the panic alarm and we think that the suspect actually saw him hit it, and then he walks around and shoots the clerk. Just that cold. Really, just no reason to me. Just cold-blooded.
“It was probably somebody with a quick temper given to the fact that it angered him so quickly to the point that he shot the clerk that he was just pushing the button, which when you’re committing a robbery, you would expect that they’re going to call the police.”
The surveillance video shows the killer running from the store, only to return seconds later to grab the candy he had placed on the cash register counter.
“I think he didn’t want to leave any prints,” said Lambert. “I think he wanted to take those items with him so he didn’t leave any evidence.”
The killer got candy but no money in his attempted robbery.
“He shoots across the counter, kind of leans over a little bit, but he doesn’t touch the counter and then he just shoots him.”
Over the last year, IMPD has unsuccessfully sought tips from the public based on the surveillance video that shows the moments surrounding the shooting.
“So he did have a very unique look,” said Lambert. “He had on a visor, a Nike visor, he had on a Nike kind of sweatsuit on almost and he was wearing this really distinctive backpack. I thought it was very distinctive because it was more like a hiking backpack versus a backpack kids would carry or like a laptop or something or to school or something like that.”
And then there were the accounts of the surviving clerk and other people in the store.
“One of the customers mentioned he smelled really bad also,” said Lambert who concluded by the dress and condition of the man that his killer was “maybe homeless living in a camp nearby.”
But now IMPD has a rendition of the murderer based on a description given by a witness.
“So we had one of the customers from the store sit down with our forensic artist, and he’s amazing with the work he does, and this is the composite sketch that they were able to come up with after several sessions sitting down with the artist. It takes multiple times coming back to the office to come up with a sketch.”
The sketch depicts a man, perhaps in his 30s or 40s, with uniquely shaped ears and a mustache.
“One of the witnesses did provide that there was something about his mouth that stood out,” said Lambert. “It was hard for her to articulate exactly what it was but it was something off about it…the physical description of it.”
The suddenness of the shooting, the presence of mind to return to the store to grab the candy from the counter, the physical appearance represented in the sketch--all these clues lead Lambert to wonder if his killer has a criminal history that could be traced with mugshots compared to the artist’s rendition.
“I poured over previous robberies for the year and afterwards and have been keeping track of all the robberies looking for any type of similarities and nothing has stuck out so far. It's pretty unusual,” said Lambert as he glanced at the sketch one more time. “We’ve passed it around, put it on a bulletin before, they haven’t gotten any tips from it, though.”
On June 12, 2018, Dollar General posted a $10,000 reward offer for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the clerk’s killer.
That offer expired last Monday night, but the store has decided to extend it for another year.
“I would definitely make the argument for them if it led to an arrest and the conviction of this person, absolutely I would ask that they would still make good on it,” he said. “Knowing how difficult this case has been up to this point, anything that led to an arrest and conviction would be amazing.”
If you recognize the man depicted in the police sketch of the Dollar General killer, or know who murdered Brian Eure, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.
Your information could be worth a $1,000 reward and maybe more.