INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 17, 2015) -- A call for justice from the family of a man shot last week outside of an east side motel. Joenathan Rice, 46, was gunned down outside the Rodeway Inn on Shadeland Avenue early Friday morning. It has gotten his family to speak strongly against gun violence.
"We don't want people to keep losing their children, their sons, their daughters," said Tasheka Wings, Rice's cousin.
Rice's family says he was at a gathering at the Rodeway Inn and, after leaving, realized he forgot his cell phone in the room. She says a fight erupted between Rice and another man as Rice tried to get his phone back. The fight eventually spilled outside.
"They began to argue again, so another altercation broke out," Wings said. "At that point, my cousin went to defend himself and he threw a punch."
Wings says the man he punched got back up and shot Rice in the head.
"He was left on the sidewalk like he was dirt, like he was trash, and he wasn't," Wings added.
Detectives are going through evidence as they look for the man who pulled the trigger.
The shooting was the first of two that happened at that same Rodeway Inn. Two days later, a 30-year-old man was shot and killed in one of the Rodeway Inn rooms, and police are following leads in that. In the meantime, Tasheka Wings is staying close to her family as they deal with this and are hoping their message doesn't go unheard.
"He wasn't a thug and we just want people to know that. He was loved by his family," she said.
The family says detectives are following a number of leads.