INDIANAPOLIS––City leaders joined with a grieving family to pay their respects to an Indianapolis man murdered while working to promote peace.
The victim, 60-year-old Johnny Purchase, was one of five people shot to death in the span of a few hours last Tuesday.
So far the motive for the murder remains a mystery, but nearly a week later, close to a hundred friends family and total strangers got together to pray for justice for a man they say lost his life trying to keep the city safe.
“We’re definitely overwhelmed by the support and love of the community,” said the victim’s son Jonathan Purchase.
The mayor, the police chief and nearly a hundred others joined Johnny’s family at Monday’s vigil outside were Purchase worked at the Edna Martin Christian Center.
Purchase served as a youth success coach.
“My father was doing his passion working with the kids, working with youth trying to change society,” said Jonathan.
“He was indeed a shining light in this community,” said Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett.
Mayor Hogsett wanted to pay tribute to the victim’s work, which connected people in need with resources in order to prevent violence.
“Mr. Johnny went out on a victory, making a difference and he’s going to be remembered for that,” said IMPD chief Randal Taylor.
Purchase was shot to death for unknown reasons while doing his job last week near 25th and Keystone.
Chief Taylor promised his officers are working to solve the case and joined the mayor in hoping that Mr. Johnny’s work serves as an example to others.
“His work has to continue. We have to continue to make things better in this community. He showed us the way,” said Taylor.
“We must collectively make sure that Mr. Johnny’s light never goes out,” said Hogsett.
“I am hopeful this unfortunate incident brings us together to dialogue about solutions. Too make lives are lost to gun violence and it is unacceptable,” said the victim’s cousin Tawnya McCrary.
So far no arrests have been and police do not have suspect information to release, but anyone with information on the case can still contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.