INDIANAPOLIS — Two teens are behind bars in Marion County accused of murder.
Police claim the underage suspects killed a man last year on Indy’s far east side.
Following the arrest of the two juvenile suspects, police said the case serves an important reminder about the need to be careful when meeting strangers to sell items online.
On a Sunday afternoon in March 2021, police believe an online sale in a neighborhood along Rinehall Drive turned deadly when 30-year-old Dusty Lawrence was shot in front of his pregnant wife and young daughter.
“This wasn’t just two people exchanging items. His family was there. You had a small child there at the time of this incident,” said IMPD officer Genae Cook.
According to the victim’s family, Lawrence lived in Anderson but used a social media app to meet up with the suspects in the neighborhood near the Marion and Hancock county line.
“Unfortunately during the transaction, he was shot and later died of his injuries,” said Cook.
More than nine months later, with the assistance of Indiana Crime Guns Task Force officers, IMPD arrested two underage suspects for the killing.
“We cannot encourage enough to the community, go to our districts: Go to a well-lit and well-populated area,” said Cook.
In recent years, IMPD has set up e-commerce safe zones at each of their six district headquarters buildings.
Those locations include: 3120 E. 30th Street, 201 N. Shadeland Avenue, 1150 S. Shelby Street, 551 N. King Street, 3821 Industrial Boulevard and 39 W. Jackson Place Suite 500.
The locations are intended to give people a safe to place meet and maybe save lives.
“Be safe. Make sure you know where you’re going and you’re comfortable where you’re going,” said Cook.
Because both suspects are at least 16 years old, prosecutors expect the case will be direct filed into adult court and not go into the juvenile system.
Anyone with further information about this incident should call the IMPD Homicide Office at (317) 327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-8477 or (TIPS).