INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the man who was shot and killed Saturday night on College Avenue as 31-year-old Indianapolis man Eric Preer.
Preer was an employee at the College Avenue Smoke Shop on the city’s near north side. His family said he was working there to support his two young daughters and his mother, who has terminal cancer.
“We just lost our uncle,” the victim’s niece DaSani Preer said, “and it’s just sad because we don’t know how to deal with that anymore.”
Preer’s family set up a memorial outside the shop, just feet away from where he lost his life. His niece DaSani said her uncle was more of a father figure to her.
“He loved everybody,” DaSani said through tears. “He was a loving person he didn’t do nothing to nobody.”
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to the smoke shop a little after 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. IMPD officials would not comment on the specifics of the case, but the store’s owner said two men came in and tried to rob the place.
Eric was shot and killed in the process.
“He was a good man. He just wanted to make a living,” the victim’s sister Erin Preer said. “He just wanted to put money into his pocket and be able to put food on the table.”
Erin said one of the hardest things for her family is knowing that her nieces, ages 1 and 5, are going to grow up without their dad.
“They were his world and that was his world and it’s like they’ve came and just completely shattered ours,” Erin said.
Eric’s family said they want his killer to know that he has destroyed a family. While they are dealing with their own grief, they know there are many other families dealing with the same thing after a weekend of record violence in Indianapolis.
“People are having to bury their children and their brothers and their cousins and it’s not right,” Erin said. “We need to figure it out we have to do better because I don’t wish this on any family.”
The Preer family is now just trying to figure out how to live their lives without Eric.
“It’ll get better over time, but it’s just our hearts will never be whole anymore,” DaSani said. “It just will never get be the same.”
No arrest have been made in the case. Anyone with information is being urged to contact CrimeStoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.