Man’s death in weekend house fire ruled probable homicide

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The death of a man who was found inside his burning home over the weekend has been ruled a probable homicide by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

First responders found 73-year-old Stephen Brockmann inside his house in the 9400 block of Barr Drive about 10 minutes after responding to the fire just after 12:30 a.m. Saturday. Fire investigators said the fire appeared suspicious after finding several ignition points inside the house.

The coroner’s office said Brockmann’s cause of death is still pending, but the manner of death is ruled probable homicide.

“The community needs to help the detective and help him by giving him accurate information so that he can put the pieces of the puzzle together,” said IMPD Officer Genae Cook.

Police records indicate prior trouble at the Brockmann’s home in the last couple weeks. A police report filed November 3 says Brockmann called police to report an attempted break-in at his house. Neighbors say somebody had broken out the glass on the rear sliding door of the home.

Neighbors say Brockmann lived alone at his house. They say he was an organist who also enjoyed woodworking.

“Just kind of a quiet, gentle old man,” said neighbor Steve Wendt. “Him and I shared a passion for woodworking,"

An online profile says Brockmann was retired from the Air Force. He was also a member of Trinity Episcopal Church on the north side of Indianapolis.

IMPD officials say detectives are releasing very few details to the public in order to protect the integrity of the investigation. Cook said the detective on the case is actively gathering information and seeking input from anyone who may know anything about Brockmann’s death.