Mother offers $2,500 reward nearly 1 year after son gunned down along I-465

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INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly a year later, there are still no answers to who shot and killed a 29-year-old on I-465.

“I still don’t know why this happened and who did it,” said Lisa Graham, the victim’s mother.

On July 13 of 2020, Aaron Padgett was on his way to work when someone pulled up alongside his van and opened fire. Padgett was from Georgia. He was in Indianapolis for the first time to do some electrical contract work. He never made it to the job.

Moments after the shooting, an INDOT Hoosier Helper stopped and started CPR before he was rushed to the hospital.

“I spoke with him an hour before this happened and everything seemed to be fine, and then two or three hours later, I find out he’s been shot, went into surgery, and then he passed away,” said Graham.

Graham lost her oldest child.

“My son was a person who believed in doing the right thing,” she said.

Indiana State Police believe this started as a road rage incident. The deadly shooting happened around 6 p.m. on I-465, just west of the State Road 37 exit on the city’s south side.

“I’m hoping someone saw something (or) heard something. Even if they think it’s minor, it may be something that’s really important for the police,” said Graham.

Graham is putting in her own money as a reward — $2,500 for tips that lead police to the shooter.

“We just want closure,” said Graham.

A month before Padgett was killed, he found out he was going to be a father. Now that 4-month-old girl is named after him.

“He was headed to work. He was trying to buy a house for him, his fiancée and the baby,” said Graham.

As weeks have turned into months, and now almost a year, Graham admits it’s hard to remain hopeful.

“I pray and I hope. We want closure. Right now, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, but I still pray for it,” said Graham.

The final conversation she had with her son is one this mother holds close to her heart.

“Our last words every phone call were, ‘I love you, Ma.’ And I’d say, ‘No, I love you more,’” recalled Graham.

Soon after the deadly shooting, Indiana State Police released a description of the suspect’s car: a newer model, black Chevrolet Impala or Malibu. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or was in the area with a dash camera is asked to call ISP at 317-899-8577.

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