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Family, community gather at site where Indy teen became one of Indy's latest homicide victims

Michael Duerson.png
Posted at 11:20 PM, Apr 16, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — "He was smart. He was loving. He was fun. He was everything to me."

Antionette Lanier described her 16-year-old son Michael Duerson III to the crowd Sunday as they gathered with friends, family and the community to remember him just a week after he was shot and killed.

Prayers for healing and justice were offered Saturday afternoon as another Indianapolis family grieved the loss of a young life taken too soon by gun violence.

"I'm pissed off and justice will be served. The Lord said vengeance is mine," said Lanier.

Known as MJ to family and friends, Duerson was found near the intersection of east 30th St. and North Lesley Ave., on the night of Sunday, April 10. He was rushed to the hospital and died shortly after, according to IMPD.

"MJ did not come from a bad family and MJ did not deserve this," Duerson’s grandmother said during Saturday's vigil.

Dozens of people joined family and friends to pray and release balloons at the same intersection where Duerson was shot.

Although this family appreciates the love and support during this time, Lanier said it's not enough to fill the hole in her heart from losing her son.

"That's not going to bring my son back. I want my son. I love that his friends and his family came, but that's not going to bring my son back," Lanier said.

The victim's father Michael Duerson II tells WRTV his son was very creative, loved sports, and had a bright future ahead of him. He said the fact that someone senselessly took his son's life is painful.

"He was a great kid. It's just so much more to him than this crap right here and he fell short. Yeah, I'm angry," Duerson II said.

IMPD still hasn't released any information about what may have led to the shooting or whether they have any information about a possible suspect.

As they wait, Duerson's family said they know someone out there knows something, they just need to come forward to bring "MJ" justice.

"We are upset, and we need help. We need help from this community. We don't need people holding secrets," Michael's grandfather Antonio Lanier said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Larry Craciunoiu at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or e-mail him at Larry.Craciunoiu@indy.gov .

You can also call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317.262.8477 or (TIPS) to remain anonymous.