Arrest made in murder of man killed in Indy bar after family, friends gather for vigil

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UPDATE (April 29, 2021) — Derek Oechsle was convicted of murder and criminal recklessness during his trial. Sentencing is set for May 20.

INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD arrested Derek Oechsle, 32, for his alleged involvement with the murder of Christopher Smith, 41. Smith was shot and killed at Jake’s Pub on west Southport Road on Wednesday night.

It is still difficult for the family and friends of Smith to talk about him without tearing up. On Wednesday night, dozens of people gathered for a special vigil in Smith’s honor at a shopping plaza on the city’s south side.

Smith’s family said he was at the bar that night for his bachelor party. Smith was looking forward to his December 14 wedding.

The vigil on Wednesday included lots of tow trucks that illuminated the crowd for a special “Light Up and Honor Ride.” Those in the audience also released balloons, lit candles and prayed.

Prayer is something near and dear to Smith’s heart as he was a pastor of a local church, his family said.

“If it leads just one person on the walk that he was trying to walk with God, not trying to walk, that he did walk with God, then he did what he wanted to do,” Smith’s future sister-in-law, Shanon Singer-Mann, said.

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