Suspect, 16, faces murder charges in Indianapolis teen’s death


Christian Qualls

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 6th 2015) – A 16-year-old is behind bars accused of killing a 15-year-old at an apartment complex near 71st and Michigan.

Daniel Neal Burns, 15, was found dead on the north side on October 17.  The boy was found just inside the door to an apartment in the 7200 block of Kingsford Drive.

The suspect, who police identified Friday as Christian Qualls, was being held at the Juvenile Detention Center at the time the warrant was issued. The suspect will face charges of murder and carrying a handgun without a license in this case.

Police spoke to Carrie Qualls, the suspect’s mom, who held up a detention order with a picture of her son. Court documents show she asked police, “Is my son involved in this? I’m just gonna put it out there and tell it. He’s been out here robbing people. He’s been breaking into apartments and cars stealing things. He’s been hiding in abandoned apartments up here and I’ve been looking for him.”

She said he had been calling her from stolen phones. She also told police she was concerned that her brother’s gun was stolen and the teen would have had access to it.

The casing found in the living room wall of the apartment matched the missing gun.

Police interviewed another juvenile, who claimed to have seen Qualls with the gun the day before the homicide.

When police interviewed Qualls, he told them Burns was shot after a drug deal gone bad. He said Burns went to buy marijuana but didn’t have enough money, and the dealer shot him after an argument. Qualls said red stains seen on his pants were from a red tattoo ink bottle that “exploded.”

Another juvenile told police Qualls told him that he and the victim had stolen items out of the tenant’s car. The juvenile said the two argued over the property, which led to a boom which sounded like a shot and a second boom which sounded like something crashing.

A couple of teens picked Qualls out of a police lineup. After being interviewed by police, charges were filed for murder and carrying a handgun without a license.

“I just want justice to be served. It’s not going to bring my child back. I don’t want to sound vengeful because it’s not about vengeance. I just want justice to be served,” said the victim’s mother Vickie Morris.

The victim, Daniel Burns had been a friend of the suspect at the time of the killing.

Despite the arrest, his mother is still in pain.

“It doesn’t make the pain go away. There’s no closure,” said Morris. “Everybody is talking about now you can get closure. Well I don’t have closure.
His mother still can talk to him. She can still see her child. I can’t see mine.”

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