Police arrest Indianapolis man for fatal shooting at Coke Lot

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A man was shot and killed where hundreds of fans are camping for the race.

Police told Eyewitness News they would be out in full force overnight Saturday and during Sunday's race to make sure fans stayed safe. No added patrols were planned, though, in light of that deadly shooting near the Speedway.

That incident started as an argument but escalated into gunfire that left a young father dead, according to police, and a teenager under arrest for his murder.

It happened in the Coke Lot near the track around 2:00 Saturday morning in front of a crowd of witnesses who were camped out ahead of the race. When it was over, 25-year-old Max Levine from Kokomo who had come to enjoy the Indianapolis tradition with friends, was dead.

“I was woken up at 4:00 in the morning,” said Victor Levine, explaining how he learned his oldest son, Max Levine, was dead. “Max had a future. He had a bright future."

Levine said his son was a manager at a Kokomo convenience store and had gone to Indianapolis with friends to enjoy the festivities surrounding the 500. Instead, said Levine, he learned some kind of fight broke out and Max tried to walk away.

“He was shot in the back,” said Levine.

Police haven’t given any details about what led to the shooting except to say a fight precipitated it.

They later arrested 19-year-old Avery Johnson and charged him with murder.

“He wanted to prove a point and, I guess, my son was the victim,” said Levine.

Levine said Max had never been in trouble and was a single father to a little girl, and worked hard to provide for her. Levine said he was proud of the life his son led after being raised in church.

“Here they are trying to follow and do the right thing and tragedy comes to them,” said Levine, shaking his head in disbelief over what happened to his son.

This weekend’s shooting wasn’t the first time there had been a shooting during race weekend. Two years ago, a fan was shot in the chest after a fight. That man recovered.