INDIANAPOLIS — Dantez Smith was at a party near the University of Indianapolis campus on the morning of June 22, 2019, when he likely locked eyes with someone he didn’t want to see.
”From what I understand, I believe everybody saw each other and then at that point, the determination was made for everyone to leave the party,” said Indianapolis Homicide Detective David Miller. ”The beef necessarily wasn’t from a party, possibly from a prior incident that occurred and the individuals may have just shown up at that party and recognized him, that is essentially where the incident went from there.”
Where it went was to the 8100 block of Siear Terrace where Smith lived with his father.
”He may have been followed to that apartment complex and or the individuals knew that was the apartment complex that he lived in and so just waited there,” said Miller. “As he was walking essentially from his vehicle to the apartment that he lived in with his family, he was gunned down in the parking lot by a passing vehicle.”
Miller, who works with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide unit, said those shots came from the passenger side of the vehicle.
Smith’s mother Rae Ann Chisolm told me she’s never before spoken outside the family about the murder of her son.
”To this day I’m still trying to figure things out,” she said. ”There’s just so many different stories. I just don’t know. It’s just like from what I was told it was like a jealousy thing, like a typical teenage thing.”
Detective Miller has heard some stories, too.
”There was a prior shooting that occurred,” said the investigator. “He would have been one of the shooters in that incident.”
Chisolm recalled the last conversation she had with her son.
”I had talked to him two days prior to when the incident occurred. Just to me, he sounded like something was disturbing him,” she said. ”I knew just there was some kind of tension.
”He didn’t want to talk about it right then and there.”
Miller said he has identified the killer of Dantez Smith, and has even spoken with him.
”The story that he told doesn’t necessarily match up with what I know,” said Miller, who keeps tabs on his suspect’s journeys in and out of jail. ”He’s definitely been a part of a very violent lifestyle and may have come across my radar more than once.”
If the detective knows who killed Smith, chances are the dead man’s family and friends do, too, and Miller said it might behoove his suspect or the people around him to decide if they’d be better off taking their chances with law enforcement than a friend or relative with vengeance on their mind.
”There are individuals out there who might still take it very personally what occurred, whether it be family members or friends or whoever it is, like we alluded to earlier….if you are in that game, in that profession of violence, then sometimes that violence can circle back around on you as well, so, if it’s a family member of the suspect, even, you may be doing them a favor to come forward with information to me as well.”
Smith’s mother said she is gratified that her family is not the only ones remembering her slain child and is committed to finding answers.
”I appreciate it so much. I’m just grateful, I’m just grateful and thankful that nobody has forgotten about my case, my son, my situation, things like that, I’m truly truly grateful for that.”
If you can provide a solution to this week’s Indy Unsolved, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS or IMPD Homicide at (317) 327-3475.