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‘Our lives are forever changed’: Family seeks justice in man's unsolved homicide

'It's painful. It's unreal. It's a nightmare.’
Darnell Brown
Posted at 9:55 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 21:55:20-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A family forever changed. The mother and siblings of Derell Brown are pleading for answers and justice a week after Brown was killed in a homicide.

Brown was just 25-years-old when police say he was found shot in the parking lot of his apartment complex on Indy’s Northeast side last Monday. IMPD said he died at the hospital.

“We hear all the violence going on in Indianapolis and when it hit home, it hit home hard. Now we feel their pain and it’s a pain that somebody shouldn’t feel,” Brown’s brother, Darnell Bonds said.

Denise Bonds, his mother, Schanise Allen, Darnell Bonds and Demarcus Brown, his siblings, spoke Monday morning to in hopes of getting justice for their son and brother. Brown was a father, son, uncle and brother. Denise said he has a one-year-old daughter.

CREDIT: The Bonds Family

In high school, his family said he was a football star at Lawrence North, and after graduating he joined the army. He was stationed most recently in Hawaii until his family said he was honorably discharged for medical reasons.

“Everywhere he went he was always smiling. Anywhere he went, he would call you his friend,” Darnell said of his brother.

Brown was described as friendly and outspoken with a big heart by his family. His brothers added he was a gamer and loved playing Madden. They said he had dreams of becoming a music producer.

“He wanted life. Life around him, just happy joyful moments,” Schanise said.

CREDIT: The Bonds Family

“Then I get the call, the call no mother ever wanted to get.”

Brown’s mother Denise said she spoke with her son often and drove him to work every single day. Hours before the shooting, she said they spoke and ended the call with “I love you.”

CREDIT: The Bonds Family

“I’m looking for the call. I’m looking for him to say ‘mom.’ I mean it’s— I don’t know, you can’t ever put it into words, you can never imagine this hurt, this emptiness, this sickness,” Denise said.

Brown’s mother said her son was “on the right path” and was working towards his dreams.

“I did not expect to lose my child like this. Not like this. Not at all, so whoever, whoever did this and somebody knows. As we always say you can run, but you can’t hide,” Denise said through tears.

Brown’s family wants answers and wants those with any information to come forward.

“By you not telling, it’s not right and I hope your conscious can’t let you rest,” Denise said. She continued, “You can tell anonymous. You can, I mean you shouldn’t want this to just go like this and if they know, they should tell. And this little stupid thing, ‘Oh I ain’t going to be no snitch,’ that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard. Somebody lost someone. You should want them to have justice a little bit. It’s not going to ease—no, it’s not going to ease the pain, never going to ease the pain, but to know that the person who did this is not walking on the street doing something to somebody else like this or causing somebody else pain. They shouldn’t have freedom, no.”

Schanise added, “We can never get him back. Trying to figure out how to live day-to-day is an ongoing process.”

IMPD continues to ask anyone with information on this homicide to contact the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana by calling 317-262-8477.

"Our lives are forever changed. Holidays are forever changed, marriages. Happy moments are forever changed,” Schanise said.

CREDIT: The Bonds Family