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Columbus community supports newborn of young father killed in Indianapolis

Luke Poindexter was delivering food when he was fatally shot Oct. 24, a month before his son was born.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Rival basketball teams came together for a common cause this week: To honor the life of a Columbus East High School graduate who was shot and killed in Indianapolis.

They also raised money for Luke Poindexter's newborn son. The support is helping a family through unimaginable grief.

At just over a week old, the baby in Alexia Estep's arms is a beautiful blessing, amid unthinkable tragedy.

He's wearing a onesie that reads, "Heaven has my daddy, but I have his heart."

“This is Gunner Poindexter. He is a joy," Alexia said. "I’m very lucky to have him and I’m glad he made me a mommy.”

"We're going to give him every experience that Luke could have given him and you know we're going to keep his dad's name alive," said Kelley Poindexter, Luke's father.

Credit: WTHR
Alexia Estep holds her son, Gunner, who was born one month after his father, Luke Poindexter, was shot and killed in Indianapolis.

Poindexter, 22, was a quiet, loving, four-sport athlete who was generous with love and hugs for everyone who knew him.

RELATED: 1 killed in northwest Indianapolis shooting

"The majority of the people, the last time they saw Luke, he went up to them and told them that he loved them. And you know he didn't have to say a lot. You knew... from his hugs," Poindexter said through tears, "that he loved you so much. I just miss that."

He was on the dean's list at Ivy Tech this fall and working for his family's future.

But on Oct. 24, while on the job delivering for Door Dash on the northwest side of Indianapolis, Poindexter was shot and killed. He was murdered one month before his son's birth.

The crime, which is still unsolved, gutted this family to its core. 

"It's like it's a nightmare that you can't wake up from," Poindexter said. "It just seems like evil's winning and I don't know how we flip the switch to... I don't have that answer, but I hope somebody does. I mean citizens in Indianapolis are dying for nothing. Unarmed citizens. They're being murdered every day and my son was one of those and it's got to stop."

What's keeping this family going and giving Alexia hope is her son and the impressive support from the Columbus community.

A middle school basketball game drew a huge crowd in Poindexter's honor Monday. Rival schools came together to remember his life and they also raised $10,000 for a college fund for his son.

"It was amazing. The community has been awesome in helping us through this tragedy," Estep said.

Credit: WTHR
T-shirts in memory of Luke Poindexter are being sold in Columbus to raise money for a college fund for his son, Gunner.

After the game, and through "stop the violence" t-shirt sales, people have donated even more.

"It's just been incredible. It's overwhelming. It's so much you can't even take it in," Poindexter said. "I mean you're looking up in the stands at all the people that's touched Luke's and Alexia's life in one way or another and they'll be a part of Gunner's life and they're just all weeping I mean, it's... it's heartbreaking that someone could take that from people. But it's also heartwarming to see all that support."

It's all to make sure this tiny legacy of Luke Poindexter grows up to experience everything his dad should have.

T-shirt sales are still underway, if you'd like to help the family. They're $15 each and available for purchase at Central Middle School in Columbus.