INDIANAPOLIS — Court documents reveal that not long before Emily Lee Anna Willis was gunned down on an Indianapolis sidewalk, she messaged a friend asking for help because two men were reportedly trying to lure her into their car.
Roughly an hour later, two juveniles playing basketball on Rural Street heard Willis shout, “Leave me alone!” The witnesses then watched as Willis ran down the street, fleeing from a gray-colored sedan. A passenger in the sedan opened fire on the retreating woman, firing at least 20 shots.
Indianapolis police located Willis on a Rural Street front porch shortly before 9 p.m. on Aug. 28. She was rushed to a hospital but ended up being pronounced dead an hour and a half later.
According to court documents, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department investigators found surveillance footage that showed Willis attempting to flee from the gray sedan — which appeared to be a Honda Civic coupe. The two occupants of the vehicle were also caught on camera, including a heavy-set man in a “very distinct bright red sweater,” court documents reveal.
Investigators ended up tracing the Honda to an individual who lived at Colonial Apartments on East Washington Street. Detectives spoke to the individual who admitted to being behind the wheel of the Civic during the shooting but said it was his passenger who was the trigger man. The shooter allegedly used a 9mm handgun equipped with a “drum” magazine to gun down Willis, according to the individual.
Police identified the passenger and shooting suspect as 34-year-old Deonta “Tay” Nelson.
Court documents reveal that when police officers arrested Nelson at Colonial Apartments, a “unique bright red hoodie” was found in the apartment along with a Glock 19 9mm handgun.
Police spoke with Nelson, according to the documents, who admitted to “shooting dice” in the area of Rural Inn around the time of the shooting. Nelson also told police he knew Willis and had seen her the day of the incident, but denied shooting the woman.
Previous reports detail how the area along Rural where Willis was killed is a traditionally high crime neighborhood. Willis’s father acknowledged that his daughter hung around some bad people, but said Willis had a good heart.
Nelson was arrested on charges of murder and possession of a firearm by a serious felon. He previously was convicted for armed robbery.
A booking photo of Deonta Nelson was not made available at this time.