INDIANAPOLIS — Jennifer Leath said she remembers the day her daughter was killed like it was yesterday.
“I remember every second of the day,” she said. “It’s like where people say ‘I remember what I was doing when 9/11 happened.’ It’s very much like that.”
Jennifer said that it was the worst day of her life.
Just before 3 p.m. on April 9, 2020, Jennifer’s daughter Breann “Bre” Leath and three other officers responded to the 1800 block of Edinburge Square, near E. 21st Street and N. Franklin Road, for a report of a disturbance involving a man and woman. The dispatcher also noted the man thought someone was trying to kill him and might be mentally ill.
Upon arrival, officer Leath was shot twice in the head when she knocked on the apartment door, according to court documents. She was later pronounced dead after being taken to Eskenazi Hospital.
“Her loss is devastating. It’s a huge hole in our lives,” Jennifer said. “My new normal is life without her and I’m learning how to navigate that.”
While Jennifer said she would give anything to have her daughter back, seeing the impact she has made is what gets her through the hard days.
Earlier this week, dozens of community members trained alongside the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department as part of the second annual “Be Like Bre” challenge. The challenge was started to honor Bre and her loving personality.
“She was compassionate and she loves people and she tried to see the good in people,” Jennifer said. “She said it multiple times that just because you’ve made a bad decision doesn’t make you a bad person. You can change. You can make a difference.”
Breann left behind her now 5-year-old son Zayn. Jennifer said he has some memories of his mom and she sees so much of her daughter in him.
“He’s so much like her,” Jennifer said. “He’s got her laugh, her goofy sense of humor and he definitely has her kind heart.”
IMPD marked the solemn anniversary with a service at Breann’s gravesite at Crown Hill Cemetery. The department said it’s a remind of the dangers that officers face everyday.
“You don’t know what’s on the other side of a door. You don’t know what’s on the other side of a wall and what dangers you face,” IMPD Lt. Shane Foley said. “Today is a reminder of that.”
While Jennifer said she thinks she will never find closure, she hopes the trial of 27-year-old Elliahs Dorsey will bring justice. Even in the amidst of her anger and sadness, Jennifer said she is working towards trying to forgive Dorsey, the man accused of shooting Breann.
“I don’t want to harden my heart towards anybody, but I just feel like I’m just not ready,” Jennifer said. “I’m just not there and maybe I will be there one day, but right now I’m just not.”
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is seeking the death penalty against Dorsey. His trial is scheduled for September of 2023. Until then, Jennifer said she and her family will keep trying to live their lives to try and honor Bre as much as they can.
“I’ll never be complete again till we’re all reunited on the other side,” Jennifer said.