Local businesswoman dies in shooting in apartment complex

Staff Reports

Friends and colleagues were stunned and grief-stricken to learn that a prominent Columbus businesswoman was shot to death Friday night at a west-side Columbus apartment complex, and her ex-husband, a person of interest in the shooting, was later found dead in Indianapolis.

Columbus police identified the victim as Cassondra M. Wilson, 45, of Columbus, who police said died at 3773 Picea Place in the Spruce Ridge Apartments. Police were called to the shooting scene at 9 p.m. Friday where an investigation is continuing. Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said an autopsy is scheduled for today at Columbus Regional Hospital.

The victim’s ex-husband, a person of interest who was being sought for questioning in the shooting, Troy A. Wilson, 44, was found deceased on the west side of Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon by Indianapolis Police Department officers, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Cassondra Wilson had a protective order filed against her ex-husband at the time of her death, Harris confirmed. She did not live at the Spruce Ridge apartment where her body was found, police said.

Wilson was chief executive officer of “trainerconnect” in Columbus, a company providing in-depth training opportunities for companies including Cummins, Inc., Enkei and other local large manufacturing facilities. She was also appointed by the Indiana governor as a member of the Minority Business Council for the state of Indiana, serving as its commissioner for southern Indiana.

Former Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong met Wilson working at Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus, saying he knew right off that she was “sharp as a tack and so easy to talk to — just a nice human being.”

Describing her as a “very smart lady,” Armstrong said Wilson worked very hard to create her “trainerconnect” business, which just had its ribbon cutting for a grand opening which he attended a few months ago at its new office space on Central Avenue.

He described her as a wonderful mom with a deep love for family, saying Wilson had built her life around them, especially her three children.

Wilson and another Columbus businesswoman, Dawn Andrews, owner of Garb2ART, became business acquaintances through a variety of Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce functions.

“She was very well known and so respected,” Andrews said of her colleague. The two were working with others creating a Women in Business group within the chamber with other chamber members.

“To be a part of that — it really says a lot about her caliber and the amount of respect we all had for her,” Andrews said.

Cindy Frey, chamber president, who was in tears at the memory of Wilson, said as a chamber member, Wilson had just celebrated the grand opening of “trainerconnect” with her family, describing it as a “joyful celebration” with family, music and beautiful food — the culmination of the next stage of Wilson’s business. Representatives from the Minority Business Council also attended.

Working with companies seeking training and certification opportunities for their teams, Frey said Wilson was adept at putting together the types of sessions that local firms needed for their employee teams. She would customize training packages, including opportunities for individuals to obtain medical tech certification that would move local employees into higher paying jobs in the medical field.

“She was really excited about that because she was helping change people’s lives, Frey said.

Armstrong said Wilson will be missed by a lot of people in Columbus.

“She was just a great lady…just a good human being,” he said. “She will be really missed.”