Murder of 10-year-old Indy boy Deshaun Swanson remains unsolved 3 years later

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Exactly three years ago, a 10-year-old Indianapolis boy was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Butler-Tarkington.

Unfortunately, no one has ever been arrested for the death of Deshaun Swanson.

Investigators think they know what led up to the deadly shooting, but despite a reward and significant public outcry, police say they have not gotten the help they need from the public to catch the killer responsible.

In the days following the murder, Deshaun’s grieving mother pleaded for help finding the killer.

"They took someone very special to our family and they need to turn themselves in and they need to pay for what they've done to my family," said Shannon Swanson in September 2015.

Sadly, that call for justice has never been answered and Deshaun’s family has rarely talked about the killing, but police who worked the case from the beginning remain committed to finding closure.

"Deshaun Swanson’s picture still hangs in my office. Not a day goes by I don’t pass that photo," said IMPD north district commander Josh Barker.

Still, Barker admits police will likely never catch the triggerman without the public’s help.

"This is one of those cases where there’s not a lot of physical evidence that points to a suspect. Instead, it’s going to take someone’s moral courage of someone who knows what happened to step up," said Barker.

"That type of drive-by shooting--that can’t happen. We can’t stand for that as a city," said former Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association (BTNA) president Ted Feeney.

Feeney, the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood president in 2015, remembers how Deshaun’s death along with Clarence Havvard, Marshawn Frazier and Malik Perry marked four murders in less than two months in the neighborhood. All four remain unsolved.

Investigators say Deshaun may have simply been caught in the crossfire of a larger drug war.

"We believe there were four or more gangs operating in the neighborhoods which led to a lot of the violence," said Feeney.

"The Butler-Tarkington area was riddled with a gang turf war," said Barker. "It’s completely unacceptable that a 10-year-old child was caught in the middle of that."

Anyone with information on the case is still asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

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