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Doc: Driver thought man moved out of way before fatally striking him

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Posted at 1:02 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 21:54:14-05

Update: The suspect has been charged with murder and identified as James Gary.

INDIANAPOLIS — A man arrested for striking and killing another man earlier this month in Indianapolis told a detective he thought the man moved out of the way after he did a U-turn and eventually struck a tree, according to a court document.

James Gary, 56, of Indianapolis was arrested Tuesday when he showed up to court for a traffic violation, according to a preliminary probable cause affidavit. It's not clear at this time if this traffic violation was connected to the homicide investigation.

He was arrested in connection with the Jan. 3 death of 57-year-old John Coleman, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

According to the affidavit, Gary told an IMPD detective Coleman came out of a house after he dropped him off and Coleman shouted he was "going to get him." Later, Gary went back to the area and Coleman slashed his tire, opened a car door and poured water on him, then threw a brick that broke his window as he pulled away.

After pulling away, Gary said he did a U-turn, went forward and thought he saw Coleman jump out of the way, according to the affidavit. Gary then hit a tree and left the area because he said he was afraid for his safety.

Through their investigation, detectives learned Coleman possibly tried to pull Gary out of the car before Coleman ran away. Gary then "floored it" towards Coleman, according to the affidavit.

In the evening hours of Jan. 3, the day Coleman was killed, IMPD and the Indianapolis Fire Department responded to the 2900 block of North Centennial Street, about two miles from where Coleman was killed, for a vehicle fire, according to the affidavit. The fire "destroyed the entire vehicle" and was registered to Gary.