INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Charles Hanna lived by himself, was proud of his gun collection and told people he was feeling uneasy in the weeks leading up to his murder.
“You know that when he was killed, that he knew these people or met them maybe through a gun deal,” said IMPD Det. Greg West, a cold case homicide investigator. “It could’ve been a friend of a friend. Somewhere right there is the combination.”
There were 27 guns in Hanna’s gun safe. When you add the weight of the firearms to the bulk of the safe, West believes the murder of Charles Hanna had to be at least a two-man job.
“You’re looking at a safe that could probably weigh five to eight hundred pounds. That’s a big safe, and it's not one man that’s gonna carry that thing out of that house. Absolutely not. It's gonna take several people. Several people are gonna talk, somebody in this city knows exactly who the shooter is and who’s involved in this.”
Two of Hanna’s stolen guns were eventually found during traffic stops, but police could not trace them.
“Nobody would think he had a lot of money or anything,” a neighbor told us when Hanna’s body was discovered on October 7, 2010.
West said Hanna was found shot to death on the floor of his kitchen of the small house, and it's likely the killers had to lift the safe over his body to take it out the backdoor.
“He had moved it out of his bedroom into his hallway,” said West, “and he made a comment to the family that, ‘If they can get this safe, they can have it.’ I think when he made that statement he didn’t realize that was gonna cost him his life.”
West said the safe would have been loaded into a vehicle parked in the backyard of Hanna’s house near the busy intersection of Walker and Perkins Avenue, near the Indianapolis/Beech Grove city limits, and that’s why detectives think a passing motorist might have seen something.
“I believe the reason he was killed was because he knew who they were,” said West. “He could identify them, and when you’re dealing with several people, and you’re dealing with cowards, they’re gonna be running their mouth. Somebody out there knows something. These guys didn’t keep their mouth shut. They bragged to somebody about these guns they took.”
If you recall anything about the murder of Charles Hanna and the theft of his gun collection, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS. The information could be worth a $1,000 reward.