An Iraq War veteran was allegedly shot and killed when he went to buy an iPad that he saw listed on Craigslist.
Indiana National Guard Sergeant First Class James Vester, 32, was simply trying to purchase the iPad from the suspects in a Craigslist transaction when he was according to police gunned down in this senseless, horrific crime. The iPad was to be a Christmas present for his parents.
Indianapolis police have charged two teenage brothers — who they traced via cell phone records — with murder and robbery. Police apparently believe the suspects, who are being held without bail in Marion County (Ind.) Jail, may be involved in other robberies in the area.
Vester, a father of a one-year-old son, had served in the Guard for 12 years, which included a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. He was alive when police arrived on the scene at an apartment complex parking lot ont he city’s west side: “[He] was bleeding from a bullet to chest when cops arrived, but managed to tell them that he was shot after meeting the men through Craigslist, according to a police report. A 9-mm. pistol was lying next to Vester, but it was not immediately clear if he owned the firearm. Two spent.45-caliber shells were also found at the scene, the police report shows.” He tragically died at a local hospital.
About Vester, a family friend said that “He wanted to be a good husband and father his entire life. Jim is one of those guys who is just a really genuinely good guy who loved being a dad.”
A highly respected mechanic in the Guard, Vester recently took a civilian job with the Guard in a similar capacity. He also was a member of the ceremonial unit for Guard funerals and special events.
A fundraising site has been set up for those who wish to help the sergeant’s wife Jamie and son Gavin.
On her Facebook page, Jamie Vester wrote, in part, “Thank you to everyone who has been helping myself and Gavin out this past week, and for all of the help I know we are receiving in the future from family, friends, military, strangers, and the photography community… I am so happy his story has went viral worldwide so maybe people will think twice about trying to run a scam/robbery/murder through Craigslist or any other site. I want to focus on all of the good Jim brought to this world and not focus on the people who did this to him please… ”
Earlier this week, a newlywed couple were arrested for an alleged thrill-kill of a man they met on Craigslist.