INDIANAPOLIS — It was just before midnight on February 1 when Kathleen Roberts got a text message from her boyfriend Steven Jamell indicating he would see her at their home in the 3700 block of Rockville Road.
But first, apparently, Jamell needed to make a stop at a bank branch nearby.
“I know that he went to the bank before he got home on Washington Street. He went to Chase, and from the neighbor’s footage, the car followed him from somewhere on Washington Street, and I think it was just a crime of opportunity.”
Three people got out of that car and approached Jamell in his backyard after he exited his garage.
Neighbors heard shots.
“He was shot twice,” said Roberts. “It either happened in our driveway or in our backyard, but he was found behind the fence of our backyard.
“I have a feeling that some sort of altercation broke out. I don’t know if they had any intention to shoot him, but he wasn’t the type of guy who would just get punked on, and if they tried to rob him, he probably tried to fight back.”
When neighbors came out of their homes to investigate, the killers sprayed gunfire at them as a bullet was lodged in the door frame of the house next door.
IMPD homicide detectives have released still photographs from surveillance cameras that captured the trio speeding away in a dark car.
“I know they’re still tracking down leads,” said Roberts, “but with COVID, a lot of places are shut down, and they can’t get what they need in a timely fashion.”
Roberts said Jamell left behind a teenage son.
“So his dad is all he had. His mom’s not in the picture. So whoever did this, you just orphaned a 16-year-old kid.”
Jamell was Indianapolis’ 19th homicide victim of the year.
There have been nearly 100 since then as the city races towards a murderous annual record.
“I follow FOX59 and a couple other news stations on my phone,” said Roberts, “and every time there’s a shooting, I get a notification.”
Roberts began to cry.
“And I won’t turn it off because I’m just hoping that these people will do it again, and they’ll get caught.”
Friends and family should have been celebrating Jamell’s 43rd birthday on Saturday.
Instead, they were putting together a reward fund for anyone who provides the tip that leads to the arrests and convictions of Jamell’s killers.
As always, Crime Stoppers offers a $1,000 reward for the same information.