UPDATE:

On December 26, authorities arrested 23-year-old Laseanne Strode for his alleged role in Jeffrey Herald’s homicide.

ORIGINAL STORY:

INDIANAPOLIS — Four people were killed in separate homicides this past weekend in Indianapolis, including a father of four from Hancock County.

According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, officers were called to the 5400 block of Pleasant Hill Circle Saturday night just before 6 p.m. for a report of a person shot. The victim, identified as 42-year-old Jeff Herald, died as a result of his injuries.

“He was the backbone to our family and we don’t have that,” said Scott Herald, Jeff’s younger brother. “He had a bigger heart than anybody I knew.”

“He would do anything for anyone,” added Rosemarie Sharpe, Jeff’s sister.

Jeff’s siblings described him as a loving father, who found joy in helping others better their lives.

“I’ll never get to see my brother again. Like, there’s nobody that can fill his shoes. That dude pulled so much weight, he took care of everybody, made sure everybody was happy. Loved everybody,” said Scott.

Jeff owned a landscaping company, where he also worked side-by-side with his son, Austin Herald.

“He was the happiest person you could ever meet, the most contagious laugh, most caring person, my best friend,” Austin shared.

Family members joked that the pair were attached at the hip because they did everything together.

“Practically where I was, he was,” said Austin. “We work together, I mean on weekends we go out together, in the summertime we’d take the boat out together.”

On Saturday, family members said Jeff told them he was planning to run an errand. It was the last time they saw him before they got the call that would change their lives forever — saying Jeff had been shot in the head.

While authorities work to investigate what led up to the shooting and the circumstances surrounding it, family members said they are struggling to understand who would do this or why.

“It just — none of this makes sense,” said Scott. “We’re just at a loss for words.”

Sharpe added, “He would do anything for anyone all you had to do is ask. I mean, why? Why did he have to lose his life?”

“I want people to help their children understand the value of a life to prevent this from happening to other people in the future. I don’t understand how people don’t value someone’s life and can just take it like it’s nothing,” said Sharpe.

Not only does Jeff’s family want answers, but they want whoever did this to be held accountable.

“We just want justice. We want justice. Anybody involved ultimately we just want justice,” said Scott. “It’s just senseless and it’s not just our family that’s torn apart, somebody else’s family is going to be torn apart.”

Few details have been released in Jeff’s shooting and IMPD has not yet announced an arrest in the case.

This past holiday weekend, there were four homicides, including this one, from Friday morning until Sunday across the Circle City. The spike in violence came after more than a week where Indianapolis reported no homicides. Police said that should send a strong message to the community.

“What last week said to us was, it is possible. It is possible for individuals not to turn to violence. It is possible for our community to see a lower homicide rate. It is possible for conflict to be resolved without gun violence or even people picking up weapons and stabbing each other. It is possible,” said IMPD public information officer Samone Burris.

“To turn around and see this week and see that we have four homicides again this week, it is frustrating for our community, it is heartbreaking for our community, but it’s also frustrating for our detectives and our officers that have to continue to respond to such incidents,” said Burris.

Indianapolis reported another grim milestone as a homicide Friday morning on the city’s northwest side marked the 245th of the year, tying the all-time record number of homicides in a single year. That number now stands at 248 people killed in a homicide this year.

“I think it’s important for us to start with that 248 homicides currently to this day is significant. We want our community to reflect on not just that number, but the individuals tied to those numbers,” said Burris.

“These are people. These are mothers, brothers, fathers, these are individuals that had lives that were snatched from them and taken from them,” she added.

Burris said in any cases, including the shooting that claimed Jeff’s life Saturday night, they need help from the public in bringing forth any information they may have that could lead to holding those responsible, accountable.

“We all play a part with trying to reduce crime in our neighborhoods, so it is very imperative that as our detectives continue to work through investigating these cases that our community comes forward with information,” said Burris. “But not only just information. Information is great, but the detectives also need the community’s assistance to see the investigation all the way through.”

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Detective Eric Amos at the IMPD Homicide Office at (317) 327-3475 or via email at Eric.Amos@Indy.gov.

As a reminder, you can anonymously submit tips by calling Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-8477 (TIPS) or by downloading the mobile P3tipps app for Apple or Android phones. To submit tips on the web anonymously, you can visit this website. Only tips submitted directly and anonymously to Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to a felony arrest.