Family of slain Indianapolis man: "He was gonna be a great dad"

Nathan Trapuzzano

The family of a 24-year-old man murdered in Indianapolis this week while taking his morning walk said Nathan Trapuzzano was likely at the happiest time of his life when he died. 

Trapuzzano was attacked and killed early Tuesday morning while walking along W. 16th St. Indianapolis Metro Police have released surveillance video of the attack, but they haven't made any arrests.

The Ivy Tech software engineer's wife is expecting their first child. Ivy Tech is granting a full two-year scholarship to the baby.

"He was gonna be a dad. He was excited and happy," said Shayne Trapuzzano, Nathan's older sister.

Trapuzzano's siblings spoke to Eyewitness News Thursday about their brother's life and death that's left his entire family, especially his pregnant wife, devastated.

"It's been the hardest thing she's ever had to deal with and doesn't see any end to it," said his sister, Rachael Pruitt. "He was gonna be a great dad."

"It seemed like he was moving fast through life. Three of us are older than him and he was moving faster than all of us, pretty much," said Matthew Trapuzzano, who added that the entire family is "just kind of devastated all around, but I know he'll still be around - not physically but in some ways he'll listen to me still, when I need him and I guess that's all I can really ask for."

"We all said he got married young. I think we now know why," said Pruitt.

"Nothing I can do about it, but what I want would be - not necessarily justice but these guys to be off the street," said Christopher Trapuzzano.

Nathan's widow, Jennifer Trapuzzano, will give birth to the couple's daughter next month. The event will be bittersweet as the family welcomes its second grandchild - but without Nathan.

"Just getting to see him be a's just terrible. I just can't imagine that he won't get to do that," said Pruitt. "That's what he's always wanted. He wanted to be a dad."

But safely delivering the couple's daughter, Cecilia Marie, is the priority now.

"That's probably in the forefront of her mind, is making sure the baby's healthy, getting through the next couple weeks, one day at a time, one breath at a time," Pruett said.

"If there's any consolation, it's that we know he was happy. He was thrilled. He was excited. He probably died at the best time of his life which could have gotten better but he was definitely happy," said Shayne.

She says there was so much her brother still wanted to do in life.

"He said as soon as he was able to, he really wanted to go somewhere and leave a really bad waitress a really good tip and I said why and he said, 'They're having a bad day'," Shayne said.

On watching the video, Shayne Trapuzzano couldn't understand what happened. "He had his hands up. We know he tried. We know he wanted to be here. But it was unnecessary."

"There's a lot of anger, but I can tell you, Nate probably wouldn't be angry," she said.

In their sadness, Nathan's siblings can't help but thinking of their brother's faith one of the reasons he took his daily walks like the one he took Tuesday morning.

"It was his time probably to be with God and with his thoughts," Shayne said.

Police are hoping surveillance video that shows Trapuzzano being approached by two suspects near the corner of 16th and Exeter will lead to arrests.

Nathan's family released this statement Thursday:

"The family of Nathan Benjamin Trapuzzano would like to express their gratitude to the 911 caller(s), the first responders, the staff of Eskenazi Hospital and anyone else involved in the attempt to save Nathan's life. We would also like to thank law enforcement and news personnel for their ongoing efforts in regard to his murder."

Nathan Trapuzzano's visitation is scheduled for Friday from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at Stevens Mortuary on West 10th Street.

His funeral takes place Saturday morning at 9:30 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Stevens Street.

A fund set up to help Nathan's widow and child has raised nearly $125,000 so far. Click here for info.