INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Police are searching for the driver that struck and killed a teenager on the north side of Indianapolis Wednesday night.
The Marion County Coroner’s Office has identified the teen as 14-year-old Luis Daniel Patiño-Ortega. Police say Luis was riding his mini motorbike when he was hit just a block away from his home.
Family and friends are mourning his death.
“A very, very nice young man, a good young man, a respectful young man, well-loved,” said St. Monica Church Minister Maria Piementel-Gannon.
Gannon is also a family friend. She says Luis had a form of autism and only had two friends, an elderly neighbor and another neighbor with Down syndrome who he’d walk to the bus every morning.
“He’d like to say ‘I have a lot of friends. They just don’t know they’re my friends yet,’” said Piementel-Gannon.
His godmother was full of emotion speaking about Luis. His parents were inconsolable.
“His parents were his priority for everything. He was so selfless,” said Jennifer Arroyo.
The family says things were different in the hours leading up to Luis’ death. They say his parents had a weird feeling and Luis wasn’t acting normal.
“He went out and ran an errand, came back, everything was fine. Then he went out and ran another errand and never came back,” said Piementel-Gannon.
Police say they responded to the 2200 Block of West Coil Street after 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Witnesses told police the driver was speeding and it was dark. Police say Luis was hit from behind and died at the scene.
The neighborhood doesn’t have any speed bumps or signage, something neighbors and the family says has always been a concern.
“They would go fast and she was so afraid that somebody was going to get killed. I would’ve never thought it would be my child to get killed,” said Piementel-Gannon.
Neighbors brought flowers and family came to console them in their time of need.
“There is a god. There really is and I couldn’t ask for anything more right now than family support. It literally means the most to me,” said Arroyo.
In the meantime, the family has a message for the driver who police say ran.
“For anybody who is going through this kind of pain that would mean everything in the world to have someone come up and say ‘I did this,’” said Piementel-Gannon.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-TIPS (8477).