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Photo from IMPD of a group on the canal, one of which may be the person who shot Jessica Doty Whitaker

INDIANAPOLIS–The family of a woman shot and killed last week on the downtown canal walk in Indianapolis is asking for anyone who knows anything about her murder or her killer, to call the police. Jessica Doty Whitaker was shot July 5, her family says after she said the phrase “all lives matter”, to a group of people.

“I want her home and I want her back and I know it can’t happen and explaining this to her (three-year-old) son is the hardest thing in the world,” said Whitaker’s mother, Arlena Doty. “I beg and plead. Somebody come forward. Somebody seen something.”

Police have examined video evidence taken from a nearby business, said Doty, adding that she is kept up to date by detectives who are working the case.

“Because she said all lives matter she was assassinated,” said Pastor Mark J. Powell, who said he was starting a group, which he says will be incorporated, called “All Lives Matter”, in honor of Whitaker.

“That needs to be addressed, not only by the community at large, but also by the assassin,” he said. “It’s not Black lives matter or white lives matter or brown lives matter or red lives matter. God says all lives matter.”

Whitaker’s fiance’, Jose Ramirez, said he and Whitaker were hanging out with two other people on the canal and someone in their group used racial language. That’s when he says they were confronted by a rival group. Once Whitaker, or whomever uttered the phrase “all lives matter”, said it (Ramirez wasn’t sure who said it), the groups separated and appeared to be cool.

He said Whitaker was shot a few minutes later and believes the killer may have shot her from a bridge.

His plea was for the canal to be a safer place.

“Sometimes I wonder how we’re gonna keep going on. But I, like my daughter, want this violence to stop,” said Whitaker’s grandmother Rhonda.

Powell said his hope is that the killer is caught and “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.