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Murder suspect fired 17 shots and is still on the run

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The slaying of Keith Williams on Indianapolis’ east side September 19 set off a domino effect of murder that has another dead man’s family afraid, but reaching out for help to catch an accused killer.

Kirk Shurill was Williams’ friend and after a repast dinner September 30 he was spinning the tires on his 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 in the parking lot of Persian Temple #46 on E. 23rd St. in what some called a shout out to his dead buddy and others termed an affront to the victim’s family.

“There was several people who asked this young man to not do that,” said Lucille Samuels, Williams’ mother.

“From my understanding there was several cars doing it at first. This is something that they all do when their friends pass away,” said a relative of Shurill. “They all would spin their tires when they lose a close friend in a sign of showing respect for their friend. Instead of pouring out liquor, they spin tires.”

According to a Probable Cause Affidavit, several witnesses said Williams’ cousin, Jeff Buckley, took offense to the smoky parking lot burnouts and told Shurill to stop.

“A lot of people said Kirk didn’t even hear him talking to him because the music was so loud,” said the relative. “They said that he burned rubber again. They said as the smoke started to clear the gun came out and shots were fired.”

Witnesses told police that Buckley emptied his gun, firing 15-20 times, into Shurill’s car, which careened into the parked vehicle of a Williams Creek police officer working parttime at the site.

Shurill was revived twice before dying at the hospital.

Buckley has been on the run ever since.

“I don’t know what makes someone so angry at someone spinning tires that you would have to shoot him, but more than 17 times? There is no justification for that whether you feel it was disrespect or not,” said Shurill’s relative who asked that her identity be concealed for her own protection. “I don’t understand why he was so angry that he did shoot him as many times as he did. I don’t understand. I know they have a thing called street code but everybody wants to live by the street code until its their family member that’s sitting in my seat.”

Fear of that street code, and acquaintances with Buckley’s family, has this woman and her own loved ones living in fear until Shurill’s accused killer is caught.

“If you were Keith’s friend, I didn’t know who was this young man that passed away, but if you were Keith’s friend, to me it was being disrespectful to my family to me,” said Samuels who was inside the hall cleaning up after the dinner when the shooting occurred. “Whatever escalated between those two out there, regardless of the circumstances, it was still disrespectful and it was wrong for that person to kill that person.”

IMPD is still searching for Buckley and asks anyone who knows his whereabouts to contact Crimestoppers at 317-262-8477.

Samuels said afterward she was told by relatives that some of her son’s mourners were armed.

“They said there was guns at the funeral. Who does that at a church?” she asked. “I didn’t know any of this until after the fact when they said, ‘You know what, Miss Lucille? They were packing.’

“It was disrespectful to God’s house. I mean, why do you feel like you have to have a gun to come to a funeral?”

Christopher Reed, 19, who Samuels said referred to Williams as his uncle, has been charged with the first murder that set off the fatal chain of killings that have Shurill’s family recognizing an all-too-familiar pattern.

“I do believe it was a domino effect because I believe it was like maybe six or seven murders within those two days of Kirk being killed,” said Shurill’s relative. “A couple people we did know were murdered right after Kirk.”

As of Sunday evening, IMPD has investigated approximately 150 homicides in Indianapolis this year.

In 2016, metro homicide detectives investigated 171 killings and determined 149 were murders.