This past week's tragic killing of Amanda Blackburn, the lovely young wife of local pastor, Davey Blackburn, and mother of a beautiful son, during an alleged home invasion in a quiet, northwest side neighborhood where major crimes we see in other battle-ridden Indianapolis neighborhoods rarely happen, has reverberated throughout the city and has drawn international press coverage. This morning, IMPD Chief Rick Hite and a bevy of federal, state and local law enforcement officials conducted a press conference at which they reassured the public ample resources are being made available to solve this horrific crime. As Indianapolis Star reporter Jill Disis tweeted, "Law enforcement pulled out all the stops for this press conference.
I've held back commenting on this latest in a long string of homicides this year in Indianapolis. The intentional taking of human life is awful regardless of the victim's socio-economic background. There are a lot of facts that don't add up to critical thinkers. IMPD, which has released very few details about the shooting, has ruled out Blackburn's husband as a potential suspect in her killing. Police say his alibi of being at a local LA Fitness at the time of the shooting checked out. Commenters on social media and news websites have been less than charitablee towards Blackburn's husband. Last night, Jeanine Pirro, a former prosecutor and Fox News commentator, unloaded on a statement Blackburn released. Pirro told Fox News' Megyn Kelly that she was taken aback by his statement being more about him than his deceased wife. I don't know what Pirro knows that local police haven't come across, but she says her years of work as a prosecutor leads her to look inside the home for answers in this type of killing before looking elsewhere. I believe the fact IMPD has released so few details about the killing has resulted in the public focus on Blackburn. There are rumors Amanda was raped during the home invasion, but police have not confirmed that detail or whether DNA evidence may have been recovered from the crime scene. What we know is that she died from a single gunshot wound to the head.Law enforcement pulled out all the stops for this press conference. pic.twitter.com/LlNKYTyCzH— Jill Disis (@jdisis) November 13, 2015
I've had the chance to view a lot of videos posted online by Blackburn regarding his church-related activities. He likes to talk a lot, and he's a very good talker. When he and his wife appeared together, he would ask her to talk and then repeatedly interrupt her, which appeared to be a source of irritation with her. I would describe him as having an incredibly charming, charismatic personality and having a good eye for fashion. One particular video that Blackburn posted on YouTube addressed to his church's core volunteers caught my attention. He talks at length about the nuts and bolts of building the church, including the financial angle, reassuring volunteers all money raised was for the benefit of the church since it was a non-profit organization. He seems almost obsessive, compulsive about his approach towards building his church, although it's obvious he has been very successful at convincing people, including many young couples, to join his church. Those members have recorded video testimonies about how Blackburn's church has turned their lives around. Blackburn openly discussed his marriage with his fellow parishioners and what they do to keep their relationship and sex life strong, particular after a child comes along.
When you look at all of the photos the couple posted of themselves online with their one-year old son, Weston, and the family dog, it's hard to imagine anything bad was going on inside the cozy-looking home the two moved into after relocating here from South Carolina in 2012. Police are focusing on an unidentified, young, African-American male wearing a hoodie, who was captured on surveillance video walking near the Blackburn's home that morning. There was also a dark-colored SUV spotted in the neighborhood that morning. Police say there was another home break-in near the Blackburn's home that same morning, which could possibly be tied to Amanda's killing. Chief Hite says there was no forced entry into the Blackburn's home. Let's hope police are successful in capturing and bringing the person or persons responsible for this crime to justice. As close together as those homes sit in the Blackburn's neighborhood, it's surprising the sound of the shooting itself didn't get a neighbor's attention. The killer or killers could be looking at an extra penalty since Amanda was pregnant with the couple's second child when she was shot and killed this past week.