Surveillance video helped IMPD in the investigation.
Simeon Adams (photo courtesy family)
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) homicide detectives have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of Nathan Trapuzzano. They say that robbery was the motive.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced charges against 16-year-old Simeon Adams on Tuesday. Adams is charged with Murder, Attempt Robbery (A Felony), and Carrying a Handgun without a License (A Misdemeanor).
Trapuzzano was out for a morning walk a week ago on W. 16th St. when he was attacked and killed.
"There was surveillance video from a nearby business relating to this particular crime, and in the video, one of the suspects had relatively distinctive clothing. It was also set forth and statements had been given by witnesses implicating Mr. Adams in the shooting," said Curry.
Speaking to the press Tuesday, IMPD Chief Rick Hite said Adams was known to police from three prior incidents. Chief Hite also said that police know who the second suspect is, but did not name that person.
"There were several tips from the public. We had contained the subject for some time. We knew where he was. Now we're seeing through a tally of the investigation, we have charges against this young man and hopefully we'll get more information to make sure he goes to jail for a very long time," said the chief.
Adams is currently being held at the Juvenile Center. He is recovering from a gunshot wound he received during an incident on April 1 on W. 35th Street.
Chief Hite offered a timeline of Adams' alleged activities leading up to Trapuzzano's murder. On March 22, he is alleged to have been involved in a gun store robbery; on March 30th, he is accused of shooting a man on Dr. Martin Luther King St. On April 1, he allegedly murdered Trapuzzano during a mugging, and 17 hours later he was shot.
"In some cases, as we talk about those cases where young people find themselves in harm's way, you often become the victim of the very crimes you commit," said Hite.
According to prosecutors, Erick Douglas was shot twice in an altercation outside a business on the 2900 block of MLK Jr. Street. Adams is charged in that case with Attempt Murder (A Felony), Aggravated Battery (B Felony), Carrying a Handgun without a License (A Misdemeanor).
Preliminary results from the crime lab indicate that .40 caliber casings recovered from both incidents match as having been fired from the same weapon.
"Obviously in some instances, we're failing. In many instances, we succeed and those individuals we never see again. But in some instances, clearly, the juvenile system has not been able to divert these kids from serious crimes," said Curry.
Trapuzzano leaves behind a wife who is due to give birth to the couple's first child next month. A fundraiser site has raised over $150,000 for his widow and child.
In response to the arrest, Jennifer Trapuzzano, Nathan's wife, wrote on Facebook:
"Today has been extra rough. It's been one week and I still can't comprehend that this is all real.
"The police have reported the suspect of my husband's murder was only 16. Oh how my already wounded heart aches to hear this. Nate always said one of the greatest crimes in the world today is how many babies grow up without their father.
"I don't know this man's circumstances but it hurts to hear that such a young man could turn to such violence. Please pray for his conversion."