Murder Suspect Arrested Thanks to Community Efforts

Published 04/16 2014 07:07PM

Updated 04/17 2014 08:21AM

A man is behind bars suspected of shooting and killing a Fort Wayne business owner on Monday April 7. Jamel Coleman is in custody for allegedly shooting 44-year-old Antonio Niño to death. Nino was the owner of a tobacco store on Lafayette street. Wednesday, local authorities announced that a joint effort involving crime stoppers, and the Indianapolis Metro Police Department all played a role in catching the suspect. Authorities say it was really the help of the community that led to Coleman’s arrest. Had they not passed on those crucial tips, police say this murder suspect would still be on the streets.

"We were looking for him, he knew we were looking for him," said Gregory Lewis, the Executive Director of the local Crime Stoppers.

He said an essential tip came to his attention on Monday.

"I received a telephone call from a tipster that said he was en route from Muncie Indiana to Indianapolis. He was on a greyhound bus and he should be arriving in Indianapolis in the next 45 minutes," said Lewis.

Lewis then alerted authorities in Indianapolis who greeted Coleman when he stepped off the bus. Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards first saw Coleman in court this morning.

"He was charged with murder, felony murder and robbery which resulted in death," said Richards.

According to court documents, Coleman admits to entering Niño’s store, tying him up with duct tape and shooting Niño with his own gun.

"This is a really good example of how the system works when the public gets involved," said Richards.

Friends and family of Niño have expressed their feelings at a memorial in front of his store. Many say Niño was a kind man with a good heart. A regular customer of Niño’s was Donald Clark. He works as a janitor at the Treasure House next door. It’s the building suspect Coleman says would have been his next target if he wasn’t successful at robbing the tobacco store.

“I was relieved, my prayers have been answered,” said Clark.

He has his own way of returning the kindness Niño always showed him.

“As a tribute to him I will also keep his side of the parking lot clean. We miss him and we love him. It’s a sad thing.”

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