New Palestine native found dead

INDIANAPOLIS – A New Palestine native was shot and killed Thursday evening on Indianapolis’s far eastside.

Andrew J. “Drew” Schwier, 26, a 2009 New Palestine High School graduate, was killed outside his home during a suspected robbery just west of the Hancock County line.

Witnesses told police they saw people fleeing the area and a car rushing from the scene after the gun was fired; but information about a possible suspect has not been released, according to Daily Reporter newsgathering partner WISH-TV8.

Schwier of Indianapolis was an avid sports fan and owned a sports memorabilia business called Vintage 317, an online vintage clothing and accessories shop he operated out of his home. He was a staunch supporter of the Indy Eleven soccer team, which tweeted a message of consolation early Friday: “It is with deep regret that we learn if the passing of Drew Schwier, a dedicated supporter & friend.”

A family friend, Justine Jackson Jones, who paints faces at the Indy Eleven soccer games, is working with the organization to hold a moment of silence for Schwier before Wednesday’s game. The organization plans to give away tickets to any family or friends who want to attend the game, where they will have a tribute wall for people to post thoughts about him.

Jones, who attended New Palestine Bible Church with the Schwier family, described the Schwier’s eldest son as a person who lived well and loved well.

“He was always full of joy and he had such a contagious smile,” Jones said. “He would always stop to acknowledge you — and that’s not typical early 20s behavior.”

His high school friend, Tyler Steele, 25, New Palestine, fought back tears as he recalled the numerous pickup basketball games they played, how Schwier always was the one in their group of friends making sure everyone else had a good time.

Steele admired his friend’s entrepreneurial and energetic spirit and called his death tragic.

“It’s absolutely mind-blowing,” Steele said. “You’d never have a bad time with Drew.”

Police have not yet provided a description of a suspect, and few details about the incident have been released to the public

The shooting occurred just after 8 p.m. Thursday in the 2000 block of Sweet Blossom Lane, near East 21st Street and North German Church Road.

First-responders found Schwier lying in the roadway in front of his home after having suffered a gunshot wound. He was unresponsive at the time, according to WISH-TV8.

Schwier was rushed by ambulance to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, where doctors and nurses tried to unsuccessfully to revive him.

Homicide detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the scene and immediately began canvassing the area for information.

The incident appeared to have started as a robbery but ended as a deadly shooting, Capt. Harold Turner told reporters at the scene.

Suspect still sought

Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana is offering a reward for information in the shooting death of New Palestine native Andrew Schwier.

Anyone who leaves a tip that leads to an arrest in the case may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Tips can be called in to 317-262-8477.

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or kdeer@greenfieldreporter.com.