‘This was someone that he did trust’: Family mourns death of young man shot outside home

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Dozens of family and friends gathered in the front yard of the home where Aaron Jones, 23, was found shot to death last Thursday.

As his cousin wept and pounded the ground, balloons swept skyward over the 5200 block of East 30th Street in Indianapolis.

“When we all sit back and think about this, we feel in our hearts that this was someone that he did trust and someone he did call a friend,” said Jones’ aunt, Sarah Blake. “It had to be someone he knew, and that’s the most heartbreaking part of this. It wasn’t someone who didn’t know how amazing he was. It was someone who knew exactly how amazing he was and meant to all of us.”

Jones’ body was found in the basement of the home, dead of a gunshot wound, while upstairs, his girlfriend’s four-year-old son remained unharmed.

“He was just ready for Thanksgiving. He was ready to eat. My kid was a good kid,” said Jones’ mother, Anita Lagle. “He didn’t deserve this.”

Jones attended T.C Howe High School, where he met Orleta Holmes, a social studies teacher who would later described herself as his godmother.

“When I first met Aaron, he excelled in economics because he loved money so much, and he told me, ‘Miss Holmes, I’m gonna learn every business I can,’” she said. “It was my husband’s and my dream for him to legitimize his money and give back to him and get him started, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Byron Holmes went into business with his wife’s former student and launched the “High Culture” apparel brand, which he said eventually spread to nine states and three countries.

“We are really well known in the Indianapolis sneaker community,” he said. “We do all of the shows and the events we have here in the city, so he’s very well known. He’s a sneakerhead, so he had all the best and freshest shoes, so we integrated those ideas into our brand.

“He was a popular young man, so with that being said, it's definitely a possibility that something may have happened that may have just slipped between our conversations.”

Orleta wondered if the killer, or anyone with information on the murder, was in attendance at the Sunday vigil.

“He had security cameras in his home, so the detectives do have that in custody,” she said, “and we know for a fact, due to what was stated to his mother, that it's somebody that we know, to tread lightly, to tread thin and to make sure that we just continue to stay positive, especially around the people that are supposedly closest to all of us, and just to be vigilant so it definitely could possibly be someone who is standing here today, and that’s kind of what crushes all of us, and that we know that for a fact."

If you know who killed Jones or why, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS, and you can possibly earn $1000 for information that solves his murder.

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