TRAGEDY: Young Columbus East graduate victim of homicide in Indianapolis

A young Columbus East High School graduate who lettered in three sports and whose father said he was working hard planning for his future was the victim of a homicide in Indianapolis earlier this week.

Luke Ronald Poindexter, 22, of Columbus, died after he was shot Sunday at an apartment complex on the Indianapolis’ northwest side. No one has been charged, and Indianapolis police are investigating the shooting.

“He was going to be a father,” said Luke’s dad, Kelley Poindexter. Luke and his partner, Alexia, are expecting a son, due in early December. Kelley said the family plans to establish a scholarship fund for the baby in his son’s memory.

“It’s horrible, and it’s affected a lot of people. We didn’t know how many people loved Luke,” Kelley said of the outpouring of support and sympathy the family has received. “Just knowing people care is important.”

Poindexter was working for a delivery service at the time he was killed. Sources and news reports say that when police arrived on the scene of the shooting, Poindexter’s car was running and the trunk was open. Sources and reports say Poindexter was shot multiple times and was unarmed.

Poindexter graduated from Columbus East in 2018 and lettered in three sports as an Olympian — football, basketball and track. He played defensive back and was part of the East football team that won a state championship in 2017. According to his obituary, he also participated on the Columbus East bass fishing team.

“Luke was a young man that displayed a personality that was positive, humble and loving,” said East basketball coach Brent Chitty and football coach Eddie Vogel in a joint statement. “He was a coachable player showing incredible unselfishness, making him a team favorite. Luke was a hard worker, a great teammate and a competitor. He was always thankful for his family, friends, teammates and coaches and went out of his way to express it with his great smile or a tight hug. The Columbus East community mourns the passing of Luke, but feels blessed for all the shared memories Luke gave us.”

Vogel, who was defensive coordinator at East when Poindexter played, described Poindexter as a “genuine, hard-working, great kid.”

“He was pretty quiet,” Vogel added. “He was a really good friend. … He was a kid that came to practice every day and worked hard and was very respectful and was a great teammate. I think he loved competing and loved being part of teams and loved his teammates, and he was loved in return.”

“He was just a great kid,” Vogel added later in the interview. “I mean, there are a lot of adjectives you could use about him, but he was just really a genuine, hard-working, great kid.”

In track and field, he was a regional qualifier in the high jump and also ran the 400 meters. Former East coach Scott Pherson said in a 2018 Republic sports feature on Poindexter, “He provides the leadership, and he’s selfless. He’s a team-first guy, and that’s exactly what we need. He sacrifices for the team and leads by example, and you couldn’t ask for more from a senior.”

Poindexter was a full-time, dean’s list student at Ivy Tech and was pursuing a degree in industrial technology and welding, according to his obituary.

His father said Luke was working hard to make a home for his own family at the time he was killed, and that he had only been working delivery in Indianapolis for about a week. Luke’s father said his son thought he could earn more money there.

Kelley Poindexter said since his son’s death, he’s been contacted by friends and acquaintances who have shared stories about their own children confronting violent situations. He said his family wants to do something in his son’s memory to stop the violence.

“We don’t want Luke to be another statistic, and it’s bad what’s happening in this world,” he said.

The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Monday at Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home on Washington Street.

Calling is 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.