INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, Justin White started his own business, cleaning, repairing and painting houses for new residents. He was coming home from a long day working on a house in Greenwood when at 3 a.m. on January 17, White and his partner stopped by a gas station convenience store just a few blocks from his house at 2964 South Keystone Avenue when two men tried to rob him.
“It came out as a shots fired call. Officers were close. They got there very quick, and that’s when they found the victim in the parking lot of the gas station,” said IMPD Detective Larry Craciuniou. “It appears that as they approached him, at one point the suspect opens up the driver’s door and they attempt to rob him at that point. When the surviving victim comes out of the gas station, as second suspect grabs him, they attempt to rob him as well. Our deceased victim attempted to put his truck in reverse and tried to get out of the area when the shots were fired then.”
Detectives recovered spent shell casings from the parking lot and video from the store’s surveillance system.
“We’ve got one suspect, appears to be a tall thin Black male wearing a Michael Jordan hooded red sweatshirt, pair of black sweatpants. The second suspect is wearing a black Champion sweatshirt with very unique red sweatpants on,” said Craciuniou. “It appears that they maybe had been watching a couple other customers of the business that had come in. They had followed them into the store as well. For whatever reason they chose not to rob those particular people.”
Craciuniou said the suspects likely didn’t get any money off White and his friend and then made their escape in a newer model, dark blue Hyundai with tinted windows and may have then tried to commit a similar robbery at another gas station convenience store at Morris and Harding Street, just southwest of downtown.
“By all accounts, he was a true victim in every sense of the word, meaning that he wasn’t engaged in anything, any sort of illegal activity building up to this. He literally just stopped, after working all night, stopped to get a drink and the robbery takes place,” said Craciuniou. “We know someone in the city has to know these two people, these two suspects.”
That’s what Jerri Radcliff thinks, too, which is why her family has raised $5,000 in reward money for the witness who can provide the testimony that puts her son’s killers in prison.
“My son was a very good man, and he was taken at 29 years old, too early,” said Radcliff. “He was loving it. He was happy. He was feeling accomplished like he was doing something.
“He was five minutes away from home.”
White was the father of a newborn daughter.
“He had a lot of friends, a lot of people who loved him and a lot of real friends who want justice for Justin,” said Radcliff. “He was getting his life together. He was ready to be a family and be successful and do what he wanted to do and have fun in his life.”
As Radcliff shuffled through photographs of her son, she reflected on the surveillance pictures that show her son’s killers.
“The pictures are clear as day. I mean, you can see them. You can see one clear as day and no one is saying anything, and I just don’t understand because if it was them, wouldn’t they want somebody to say something?”
If you know anything about the killing of White or the two men who attempted to rob him and his partner, call Crimestoppers at 317-262-TIPS.