Visitation held for Indianapolis man killed in attack

Nathan Trapuzzano
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Visitation was held Friday for an Indianapolis man who was killed in an attack earlier this week on the west side of Indianapolis.

Nathan Trapuzzano's funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Stevens Street.

Many people gathered Friday night to grieve with the Trapuzzano family and remember his tremendous life of just 24 years.

Eyewitness News also talked with Father Christopher Roberts, who celebrated Trapuzzano's recent wedding and who will speak at his funeral. Father Christopher describes Nathan as funny, good hearted, and most striking to all who knew him - a man of deep faith.

Holy Rosary is the sacred place where Nathan Trapuzzano will be memorialized. It's also the place where many now are praying to understand how a man of such faith could be taken so young, so violently.

"I couldn't believe it," Father Christopher said. "There was a part of me that didn't want to believe it because...less than a year ago..."

Father Christopher married Nathan and Jennifer in Indianapolis. He met Nathan at the Newman Center at Ball State University. He says Nathan considered the priesthood while in college, then realized God called him to be a husband and a father.

"I remember on the day of the wedding, I was thinking these two people will be very happy and they deserve it for a very long time," Father Christopher said. "Obviously, it still sinks in that the life everyone thought would unfold for Jennifer and Nathan - it won't."

Nathan's vibrant life ended along West 16th Street. That's where flowers, photos and a rosary now pay tribute his life.

Nathan was out for a morning walk, a time he often used to talk to God. Surveillance video shows him approached, then attacked, by two men. Metro Police say they're working on leads, but so far have not made any arrests.

Hundreds of people attended his visitation Friday evening to help his family and young wife grieve.

Mourners included Mark Joseph and Amy Cleeter, the soon-to-be godparents to Cecilia, the daughter Nathan will never know. Jennifer Trapuzzano is eight months pregnant.

"The role of the godparent is to help continue on the faith of the child and be responsible for that if their parents were not able to be there," Joseph explained. "It's hard, because he was just such a good man, such a good husband and with a baby on the way, would have been a great father."

But his legacy of faith is what friends are holding onto. Nathan, they say, even would have forgiven his attackers.

That's a message Father Christopher plans to share Saturday at Mass, as he memorializes a man who was so well loved.

"We don't know exactly what was going through his head in his last moments, but he would have wanted to do the thing that God asked him to do and that would have been forgiveness because he sought it so much in his own life," Father Christopher said.

Online donations to help with Nathan Trapuzzano's funeral expenses and help his unborn child have been pouring in from all across the country. Those donations were over $135,000 dollars Friday night.

Ivy Tech, where Trapuzzano worked as a software engineer, is granting a full two-year scholarship to the couple's 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.

A fund set up to help Nathan's widow and child has raised nearly $130,000 so far. Click here for info.