Indy Unsolved: Gun dealer found shot to death in back seat of own car

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Renote Denzell Hall was 22 years old with a minor criminal record that he thought precluded him from getting a well-paying job.

“He was looking for work that would accept his background,” said his mother, Angela Hall. “Everybody was telling him you have to start off somewhere before you can progress.”

“Everyone was saying he wasn’t himself the last couple weeks,” said Lasherry Hall who knew her brother needed money to pay off his car loan just before he died.

On September 21, 2016, Hall was found clad only in his shorts and one sock, shot to death in the back seat of that car at the Pangea Fields Apartments near Cardinal Ritter High School on Indianapolis’ northwest side.

More than a year later, IMPD homicide detectives and Hall’s family are still looking for witnesses willing to cooperate.

“There are several different things he’s involved in,” said Detective Tom Lehn. “Potentially he’s involved in the sale of illegal firearms.”

“From my understanding he was doing some sort of gun trades. He would buy guns and resell them or resell them for more to make his profit,” said Angela Hall. “From a little boy he was always infatuated with guns.”

Hall was last spotted by friends washing his car on West 16th Street before venturing out for a night of club hopping.

His body was discovered two days later in the 3300 block of West 33rd Street where Hall’s car had been parked haphazardly in an apartment complex where he was unknown.

“Where he ended up at tells me more about the perpetrators than it does him,” said Lehn. “His state of undress, his state of how he was found, tells me that he was probably with people he was comfortable with.”

Lasherry Hall said two days into her brother’s disappearance she called his ex-girlfriend who also heard from a friend at 3 a.m. inquiring about Hall’s whereabouts.

“Two hours later he called and said he found him,” Lasherry recalled.  “At five in the morning. Now mind you this car got five-percent tint dark windows.  At five o’clock in the morning we know that it was dark.  How do you see in that car? No way. There’s more to the story.

“And he was in the back seat he wasn’t in the front.”

Lehn said the friend who called 911 and several acquaintances were well known in the apartment complex.

“It's not a coincidence that he found him. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. He knew too many people in those apartments. I’ve spoken to several of the people that he knew inside of the apartments. Again, it's not a coincidence and I think he may have knowledge of what happened but at this point it's not something that he feels sharing with us.

“I have spoken to people who know what happened to Denzel and I think I’ve also spoken to the killer and it’s a lead that we are continuing to follow.

“I think Denzel was killed elsewhere, I think there was some type of a dispute over a weapon, there’s the potential for a weapon that’s missing in the investigation, we looked into that, and I think I’ve talked to the people of the potential weapon that might be involved in this incident,” she said.

Hall was shot in the back of the head, but not by his own gun. Investigators recovered evidence from inside and outside the car.

Angela Hall moved her family to Indianapolis from Chicago for a job opportunity when Denzel was in middle school.

“We thought we were coming to a better environment of course but it seems like it's everywhere. You can’t run from violence nowhere,” she said.

If you have any information on the murder of Denzell Hall and how his body lay undiscovered inside his car for two days at the Pangea Fields Apartments in September of 2016, call Crimestoppers at (317) 262-TIPS. Your information could be worth a $1,000 reward.