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One Year Later: Still no arrests in murder of Indy 8-year-old struck by stray bullet while eating dinner

Rodgerick Payne.JPG
Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 18:43:58-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It's been one year since 8-year-old Rodgerick Payne Jr. was shot and killed inside his home and detectives are still holding on to hope that someone will come forward and help them find the person responsible for firing the shot that killed him.

Rodgerick Payne Jr. was shot and killed by what police believe was a stray bullet that entered his home in the 3200 block of N. Tacoma Avenue on March 31, 2020.

Even a year later, very few details have been released about the shooting, but detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department say they believe the bullet that hit Rodgerick came from outside the home.

"He was in the process of finishing his dinner. He was in his own living room when a bullet passed through one of the windows of his house and struck him," IMPD Detective Chris Edwards told WRTV in 2020. "He wasn't out doing things he wasn't supposed to be doing. He was eating dinner in his own home and did absolutely nothing to bring this upon himself."

Detectives have said they do not believe Rodgerick was the target of the gunfire, but several shots had been fired in the area on that night. At least one of those bullets went through a window and struck Rodgerick.

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In a press conference last year, detectives said they believe the person who was the target of those gunshots might hold the key to finding the person responsible for killing Rodgerick.

"At least the person who was getting shot at. We don't care why they were getting shot at, but that person knows who was shooting at them and they know why it happened. We really need those people to come forward and speak to us," Edwards had told WRTV.

Family members had described Rodgerick as an "average 8-year-old boy" who liked to read, ride his bike, and color.

I also understand he was a very talented young man," Edward had told WRTV. "Last year he won his school's talent show and he also was a regular in his church's choir."

If you have any information about this case or any additional information to share with detectives contact IMPD or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.