INDIANAPOLIS — A former Morton High School standout football player was shot and killed early Thursday morning in Indianapolis.
IMPD said officers were dispatched to the 5800 block of Radnor Road around 1 a.m. for a report of shots fired. As officers were responding, police said dispatch received additional calls, including one that possibly came from the victim, who said they had been shot.
The victim, who has been identified by the Marion County Coroner’s Office as 20-year-old Koebe Clopton, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The University of Indianapolis confirmed Clopton was a student and issued a statement Thursday on his passing:
“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Koebe Clopton. Koebe was a junior at the University of Indianapolis and a member of the UIndy football team. Our primary concern is for Koebe’s family, friends, and others who are grieving his loss. We stand ready to help them with any counseling or additional resources they may need and have mobilized our counseling services to be available for anyone in our community who may need them. Our Office for Student Affairs will coordinate counseling resources to members of our campus community who feel impacted by this event. We are a close-knit community, and we are devastated by the loss of Koebe, who was a member of our UIndy family. This loss reminds us how precious life is and the importance of supporting each other through times of unexpected tragedy.”Robert L. Manuel President, University Of Indianapolis
Information on the shooting remains limited as police are investigating the circumstances surrounding what happened. IMPD said detectives are looking into a car that was in the area at the time and working to determine whether it may have been involved.
“It’s important that we still encourage everyone in that area that if they know something please call,” said IMPD public information officer, Genae Cook.
Cook said any piece of information, no matter how small it may seem, could be helpful to detectives investigating the case. This includes any videos from home surveillance cameras or doorbell cameras that may have picked up a person or vehicle that was in the area at the time.
“We’re handed a bunch of pieces and what we’re trying to do is put everything into one picture and so until that picture is formed, we still need the help of the community,” she said. “Sometimes placing a person in that area is all we need.”
With more than 170 homicides believed to be criminal in nature in 2021, IMPD reminds us that these acts of violence have a significant impact on the friends, families, and loved ones of the person killed.
“This isn’t another headline to the people who it is impacting. The families that have to go to the funeral, the families that are ever-changed by a person’s death or even just a criminal act against a person,” said Cook.
According to Morton High School head football coach Mac Mishler, who was Clopton’s receiver coach in high school, he was a well-respected member of the school and Hammond community.
“Koebe was a great kid, no other way to describe him. He was a great student academically, a great athlete, but more than that, he was a great person who had a passion for others,” said Mishler.
He described Clopton as someone who was “everyone’s biggest fan” and said he always wanted to see other people succeed and help them do that in any way he could.
“He was motivated to be successful himself and had big goals and dreams about bettering his and his family’s situation. His work ethic drove him to be great at whatever he chose. There was no doubt in my mind that Koebe was going to be one of those kids who make it big at something,” wrote Mishler. “He was one of those kids, who, when you saw them every day, their presence made you smile because he made your day better.”
“He was an example for other kids in our community to look up to.”
According to Mishler, Clopton graduated in 2019 from Morton High School.
4 Quarters 4 Life Community Organization said Koebe was an “awesome young man,” who they said received their 2018 Tera Weems Character Award.
“Koebe was a leader in the Hammond community, wise beyond his years. He seemed to understand that Character mattered, and, in any event, he was a part of with our organization he was the one spreading that message,” the organization shared.
A spokesperson for 4 Quarters 4 Life Community Organization told FOX59 Clopton received an academic scholarship to Indiana University, but because of his love of football, he chose to attend UIndy, where he was a preferred walk-on for the team in 2019.
“Many could not believe he chose to walk-on at University of Indy vs the full scholarship to Indiana University, but he had a passion for football and a strong belief that with hard work anything was possible,” they shared. “Not sure who did this but whoever it was plucked a giant from family, friends, and a community that needed to see him succeed.”
A neighbor, who did not want to be publicly identified out of concern for safety, said she did not know Clopton or his family, but that her heart ached for his loved ones, friends, and classmates.
“To find out now that it was a 20-year-old, I mean he’s younger than my own children, and his life is just gone,” she said. “It’s really sad with the violence and guns and everything,” she said. “I don’t know them; I don’t know the family but also I will be praying for whoever did it for their conscience.”
“It’s inhumane, it’s like nobody, they don’t really care about taking a human life,” she said. “Even if it was an accidental shooting or something stay with that person and try to get them some help.”
The woman hopes that whoever did this comes forward to police or anyone with information that might help the young man’s family get answers and justice.
“We’re not judge or jury and we cannot take or give a life,” she added.
Neighbors who spoke with FOX59 News on and off-camera shared that the shooting and a violent crime of this nature is uncharacteristic for the neighborhood, however, several said it recently has become busier and they worry it is bringing in more activity that could make the neighborhood less safe.
“It’s a quiet neighborhood. That was the main reason I moved here because it was a quiet neighborhood even in the apartment buildings you feel safe,” the neighbor, who did not wish to be identified, shared, noting that while she once felt safe going on walks or letting children play outside, she doesn’t anymore.
The shooting remains under investigation by IMPD. Police ask anyone with information to call detective Brad Nuetzman at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or via email, Brad.Nuetzman@indy.gov.
For those who wish to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS or by visiting their website, here.