Butler-Tarkington community pleads for answers 5 years after 10-year-old’s murder

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INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday marked five years since 10-year-old De’Shaun Swanson lost his life to gun violence in Indianapolis.

Despite his family, police and community members pleading for someone to come forward with information on the case, it remains unsolved. 

“For those who are involved in this not to have come forward just sends chills down my spine that there are those kind of people in our world today,” said Indy TenPoint Coalition President Rev. Charles Harrison.

De’Shaun was known as “Little Man.” He was a fourth grader with dreams of being a basketball player. 

“They took his life in front of me, and it was a horrible experience,” recalled De’Shaun’s mom, Shannon Swanson.

His dream was taken away from him during a drive-by shooting on the night of September 19, 2015, outside a home in the 3900 block of Graceland Avenue. 

He was one of four people shot and didn’t survive his injuries. 

“I really thought that it would generate so much attention in the community that it would not take us long to get the information to bring the person or persons to justice,” Rev. Harrison explained. 

FOX59 spoke to De’Shaun’s mother just a few weeks ago when his case gained national attention from the FBI thanks to “Operation Legend.”

I still have this image of a 10-year-old boy, and that is all I have,” Shannon said.

“When De’Shaun was killed, I think it became the rallying call for the entire neighborhood,” Rev. Harrison explained.

Since the drive-by shooting five years ago, Rev. Harrison says community members have really worked to turn things around in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. He did admit there have been a few incidents, in fact, just a few weeks ago there was a homicide

“It was a party that was held in the neighborhood from people outside the neighborhood renting a home,” Rev. Harrison said. 

Rev. Harrison said the neighborhood isn’t perfect, but De’Shaun’s senseless murder was enough to wake this community up. 

“In October of 2015, you had three or four gangs operating at Butler-Tarkington, and the residents pushed back against that,” Rev. Harrison said.

He hopes at some point someone will wake up and do the right thing. He wants someone to tell police who pulled the trigger so this little man’s family can get some type of closure. 

“Our children ought to be off limits to everybody, and we need to send that message to any potential shooter or killer that’s not going to be tolerated in Indianapolis,” Rev. Harrison said. 

The FBI is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to any arrests in the case.

Anyone with information should call the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana Hotline at (317) 262-TIPS. 

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