UPDATE (March 8, 2023): Police have made an arrest in the case.
INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Metro police are continuing to search for a killer after a man was shot and killed on the street outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
Just before 10 p.m. Monday night, 35-year-old Donnie Lee Sanders was found shot to death on the sidewalk at South and Missouri street.
Police are still investigating a motive for that killing.
“Right now homicide detectives are still following up on leads,” said IMPD Sgt. Genae Cook. “They’re going to continue working on this until they solve this crime.”
Immediately following the shooting, police believe the suspect was caught on video walking into the Indiana Convention Center. Officers hope that video leads to an arrest.
It’s also why city leaders believe upgrading technology around downtown can help improve public safety this year.
The death marks the second homicide already this year in downtown.
Before the pandemic, the city averaged just two or three downtown homicides each year. Those numbers went up dramatically in 2020 and 2021, before falling slightly in 2022.
Still, IMPD insists downtown crime remains relatively low.
“Downtown is still as safe as any place in the city and probably safer,” said Cook. “Downtown accounts for less than 6 percent of the crime throughout the entire city.”
This year the mayor’s office promises more mobile public safety cameras in downtown and a new grant program that can help businesses cover the costs to enroll in the B-Link camera system.
DPW also has crews focused solely on better downtown cleanliness and maintenance.
“The state needs to invest more resources, generally in money for police officers, social workers and psychologists,” said Brian Shapiro.
Brian Shapiro has run a popular deli for decades just blocks away from Lucas Oil. He believes state leaders can also help by financing efforts to improve mental health resources and homeless outreach that would benefit downtown and the entire state.
“The state has the money to help solve the problem, but they don’t want to solve the problem, they want to talk about it,” said Shapiro.
Neither Lucas Oil or the Convention Center were open to the public Monday night, but the Convention Center was put on lockdown after police say the shooter briefly entered the building.
The shooting occurred shortly after the Indiana Pacers wrapped up a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, a few blocks away from the shooting scene.
So far, no arrests have been made in the case.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective Christopher Higgins at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or e-mail him at Christopher.Higgins@indy.gov
To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.