Family of victim shot and killed while watching drag racing now offering $10,000 reward for information

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS — It has been almost four months since a 23-year-old man was killed while watching drag races on Indy’s northwest side. His family is still pleading for answers in the case.

“All the murders we have had to deal with this year — Zachary’s was the 151st murder of the year,” said Bruce Pettis, the uncle of Zachary Pettis, the man killed that night. “The thing I worry about the most with all these homicides is that the work load in the homicide department is so great now that my nephew’s murder is going to get pushed away. That we are not going to get this solved.”

Zach Pettis was at an event called a drag racing street takeover. He had a passion for racing and built cars with his father. The racing was in an industrial area at West 76th Street and Moller Road.

“Here in Indianapolis they had a street takeover. This happens all over the nation. Fans of racing will get together, and do drag racing, things of that nature, look at each others’ cars, and admire everyone’s work. Everyone was getting along fine doing the drag racing,” said Bruce Pettis.

Another car stopped in the raceway and began doing donuts. When someone tried to stop them, an altercation occurred. That’s when someone in the car fired a gun and struck Zach in the neck. His father rushed him to a nearby fire station trying to save his life.

“Zach died pretty much in my brother’s arms. It’s so unfair. Him, his wife, my brother, and his wife, everything has changed,” said Bruce Pettis, fighting through tears. “He was an innocent bystander. It isn’t like he picked a fight, or like he was in trouble.”

At a vigil Wednesday night, Zach’s father Barry help to announce a $10,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

“Knowing that someone killed his son right in front of him, he is going to have to live with that for the rest of his life,” added Bruce Pettis. “By you helping someone to solve this, his father can’t even put this to rest. He won’t be able to.”

The family says hundreds of people witnessed the incident that night, but no one has come forward to identify the possible shooter.

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