INDIANAPOLIS– On the night of May 30, as downtown Indianapolis was convulsed in a second night of rioting that began with protests over social injustice, Chris Beaty sent a text message to a friend that he was about to walk the perimeter of his apartment building to make sure his neighbors were safe.
“I’m right downtown by the Eagle. The protest was at the war memorial which a block from where I live,” the former IU football player told his friend at 11:34 p.m. “I’m bout to walk around the block now to make sure my building is good.”
Beaty had good reason to be concerned.
In the minutes before those text messages, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) investigators discovered a group of four men and one woman was roaming the vicinity of Delaware, Michigan, Vermont and Talbot Streets, pointing and firing guns and committing armed robberies of motorists parking their vehicles.
Surveillance video from a nearby parking garage captured the group, including Marcus Jayon Anderson, who was 23-years-old that night, robbing drivers at gunpoint.
Other surveillance video, witnesses and scattered shell casings trace the path the crew cut around the block until investigators claim Anderson and a partner came upon Beaty at the corner of Talbot and Vermont Streets and shot him at least twice in the chest.
“We have multiple victims, multiple crime scenes involving multiple robbery counts, as well as pointing a firearm, and then it kind of culminated in the tragic loss of life of Mr. Beaty,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. “All of those bullets, all of those casings, come back to a single firearm and so that’s why we felt comfortable moving forward with all of the charges that we did.
“We have testimony from the eyewitnesses who were victims in the robberies who came forward with information and identified Mr. Anderson as outlined in the Probable Cause Affidavit as having a firearm in the alley,” said Mears. “If you look at the surveillance footage, I think it’s a reasonable inference from the surveillance footage that there was also a pointed firearm situation that happened immediately before the death that you can also see Mr. Anderson possessing a firearm.”
After Beaty’s killing, as IMPD officers and Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) crews arrived at the scene with flashing lights and blaring sirens, Anderson’s presence at downtown bloodshed that night was not yet over.
Two-and-a-half hours later and several blocks away, more surveillance video put Anderson at the scene of the second killing during that second night of rioting.
Dorian Murrell, who earlier videos and witnesses identified as being in Anderson’s company throughout the Beaty incident, was shot to death at the corner of Pennsylvania and East Market Streets in what his assailant claims was self-defense.
An IMPD homicide detective later spotted Anderson at the hospital where his friend was pronounced deceased, though he refused to talk to police.
“It was also very helpful to us in being able to identify everyone involved,” said Mears, “because many of the individuals that we saw on the video as it related to that first robbery came in contact with law enforcement and provided information as it related to that murder that occurred on East Market Street.”
By mid-August, Anderson was in the Marion County Jail, charged with the robberies of May 30 and a probation violation dating back to a 2019 robbery conviction.
Now he’s charged with murder and facing an initial hearing on Dec. 7.
While investigators haven’t found the murder weapon, a ballistics examination linked the gun not only to the other shootings that night but also to the burglary at Twin Jewelers in Circle Centre during the first night of rioting that weekend where surveillance video showed multiple people inside the business firing shots.
They’ve also linked the use of stolen cell phones to the robbery crew.
“Not only did we have cell phone information, cell tower location, social media stuff, but there’s a ton of surveillance footage and the community really came through to help us identify everybody who was involved in this,” said Mears. “I have to give a lot of credit to IMPD. They did a great job, number one, in gathering all of that information, but then also putting it together and sifting through all of that information.”
Mears indicated other arrests connected to the robbery spree that proceeded Beaty’s killing could be forthcoming.
The entire probable cause affidavit for this case can be read below: