Murder victim was answering Craigslist ad

Jim Vester was shot and killed in a west side robbery Wednesday.

A husband and father answering an online ad for an iPad is the latest victim of deadly violence in Indianapolis.

Jim Vester was lured to a west side apartment complex by a Craigslist ad and was shot during a robbery, leaving behind his wife and one-year-old son.

The family had photos taken less than a month ago, Jim, his wife Jamie and their young son Gavin.

"They were such an easy family to photograph, because they were just so happy," said Sarah Hill, a photographer and friend who took the photos. "They were one very special family."

Late Wednesday afternoon, Vester was shot to death in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Wyckford Drive. He was there to buy an iPad from a stranger.

"I would recommend no one using Craigslist anymore, honestly. You just never know. Jim's not a dumb man. He didn't make a stupid choice," Hill said. "There's no protection, they can say to meet in a public place or during the day. This happened during the day, in broad daylight."

Vester was a career military man, with 12 years of service in the Indiana National Guard, including a year-long tour of duty in Iraq in 2006.

But most of all, he was a loving father and husband. The joy captured in their photographs, friends say, even when the camera was nowhere to be found.

"It sounds so cliché to say 'It's not fair,' but it's not. They were good people and Gavin will never know how amazing of a dad he had," Hill said.

There are no suspects in Vester's murder. Friends have set up a fundraiser to help his wife and son. More than $14,000 had been raised by Thursday evening.