INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- It's been more than a year since the murder of a young woman who was gunned down for reasons police just don't understand.
“Just a real, true victim,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Homicide Detective Larry Craciunoiu as he recalled the first time he spotted Brianna Coleman’s body in the 2800 block of Anna Lane on the night of December 4, 2017. “Probably the biggest thing I remember is she did not look like she belonged where she was at.”
Coleman had just left work Castleton Square and was about to walk into the apartment building of a girlfriend near 45th Street and Binford Boulevard shortly after ten o’clock that night.
Only the girlfriend knew she was on the way.
“Brianna was laying on her back,” said Craciunoiu. “There was some of her personal property laying around her.”
That personal property included a wallet, but no cash was missing. Her phone and car keys were found, too.
“It could have been something where this was just going to be a run of the mill robbery that escalated maybe by accident and ended up with Brianna being shot,” said the detective.
Investigators canvassed the apartment complex three times, turning up a pair of neighbors who said they heard a loud noise like a door slamming at the time of the shooting, but also discovering a surveillance video shot from across the parking lot.
The video shows a silver four-door, maybe a Chevy Malibu, cruising the lot minutes before Coleman arrived.
“One of the camera angles picked up the car arriving, parking. The passenger gets out of the vehicle and it almost appears as if they were canvassing other cars in the apartment complex as if they were gonna break into some cars,” said Craciunoiu. “It would be within 30-40 yards from where she parked and the path that we believed she would have walked to get up to those apartments.”
Craciunoiu said the killer may have spotted Coleman walking by to a door at the far end of the apartment building.
“You do see the suspect go into the general direction of where she was found at and go around the corner of the apartment building.”
Less than 30 seconds later, the suspect walked away quickly and re-entered the silver car which sped off, leaving Coleman fatally wounded.
Craciunoiu thinks the killer had a brief few seconds to confront Coleman before she was shot.
“We’ve got some evidence that leads us to a certain theory but not one that we’re gonna release yet.”
Coleman’s family remembers a vibrant, young woman who was a mainstay at celebrations and holiday meals.
“She used to be the one to fix my plate and I miss her a lot,” said Coleman’s uncle Douglas Beasley. “She mentored a lot of young girls that were from broken homes.”
Beasley said the family remains mystified as to why Coleman was targeted.
“I just think Brianna was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t know. Its still mind boggling. Its hard to explain,” he said.“Everybody wants justice true enough. Personally I would like to see some street justice but that’s not gonna solve anything. That’s just defeating the purpose there.”
If you know anything about the murder of Brianna Coleman, or a silver Chevy Malibu driving around the northeast side in late 2017, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.
Your information could be worth a $1,000 reward.