This story broke 10 days ago and once again I apologize for being so late with it, however, that doesn’t make the story any less important as the suspects are still at large.
On June 12th, 16-year-old Johnny Peluyera of Gary, Indiana was shot and killed after meeting two people who wanted to buy his Xbox through OfferUp. Johnny went with his father to the meet up which ended up being at an abandoned home in Gary. The suspects said they wanted to check if the XBox worked by plugging it into an outdoor outlet. Johnny’s father said one of the suspects produced a silver handgun and shot Johnny in the back as he ran to his father’s car. Johnny later died from his injuries.
The suspects have been described as two black males in their late teens to early twenties, and as I previously mentioned they are still at large. Police in Gary are looking for any information regarding Johnny’s murder.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Mike Equihua of the Lake/Gary Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3852. To remain anonymous, call 866-CRIME-GP.
After this story broke I saw someone on Facebook post that they did everything right and Johnny still ended up murdered. In a perfect world, any of us would be able to meet with someone off of one of these marketplace apps and safely make a transaction. However, the world is far from perfect.
You should never meet anyone at their home if your buying or selling off of any marketplace website or app. Anymore, you can’t even meet in a public place during daylight hours. The only relatively safe place you should meet someone is at your local police department as many of them have safe zones set up for just this purpose. It won’t guarantee your safety but will go a long way in dissuading potential criminals from approaching you.
Thanks to Dirk for the tip.
UPDATE 6/26/2019: The family of Johnny Peluyera has a message for the shooters.
“Bring yourself in,” John Peluyera said. “It’s a life you took that somebody loved. My son had a big bright future ahead of him that you shattered. It’s not something you can replace. It’s not a book you can open and close and re-read again. It’s a chapter that was started and is never going to end. You took not only a soul, but you took half of my soul that nothing will ever fulfill again, and a little brother who is lost.”
Hopefully, these words will take root in the dark hearts of Johnny’s assailants but I wouldn’t hold your breath.