Indianapolis, IN – A White, father-of-two working as a Papa John’s delivery driver was lured into a Black neighborhood and shot and killed on Thursday. The suspects reportedly left behind his personal cash and valuables, and instead, made off with the pizza.
On March 30th, officers responded to a report of a person shot in Indianapolis’s east side. That’s where they found 58-year-old Stephen Flynn suffering from a gunshot wound outside of a vacant home and in a “not awake or breathing” condition. According to reports, Steve could have retired, but instead, he picked up a job as a pizza delivery driver for the local fast-food chain, Papa John’s. At the time of his death, he was called to make a delivery to a vacant home.
“He drove up to deliver the pizza and people across the street heard arguing and then there was a single gunshot,” said the victim’s sister, Mary Flynn.
When the Police canvassed the area, they discovered that Flynn still had all of his belongings, including $300 cash and all of his personal effects. The only thing that the killers had taken was the pizza he was delivering, and the car he drove up in.
“The person took the pizza and the car and drove to 30th and Arlington and dumped the car, but they didn’t take any money because Steve had over $300 in his wallet,” said Stephen’s Wife, Shannon Flynn in an interview with local news. “My husband was killed over a pizza, and I do not believe anyone deserves that. We are all worth so much more than a pizza.”
When emergency services brought Flynn to a local hospital, he was listed in critical condition but died shortly after. In the days since his senseless murder took place, Indianapolis police have yet to make an arrest and are instead relying on tips from the public to continue their investigation.
The shooting death of White pizza delivery driver, Stephen Flynn, is not a unique incident in Indianapolis, however. Five years ago, a different Papa John’s delivery driver was murdered in almost the exact same manner as Stephen Flynn. The victim in that case, LaVon Drake—who was Black—received justice when a trio of young Black suspects were arrested and ultimately convicted for the crime.
In the case of Drake, it was reported that funeral expenses would be covered under Papa John’s worker’s compensation policy. It is currently unclear if the same courtesy has been extended to the family of Stephen Flynn, but the Justice Report has attempted to reach out to the fast food eatery for confirmation. We have not heard back in time with a response.
Overall, violent crime in the city of Indianapolis has only skyrocketed since the 2020 summer of racial reckoning, when the nation found itself engulfed with prolonged BLM rioting in the wake of the overdose death of George Floyd. According to a report released by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, in 2022, the Crossroads of America experienced an enormous sum of 226 homicides, with only 79 of them ever being solved. The shocking numbers equate to an unsolved murder rate of 69%.
“I can put an officer on every street, but if someone is determined to shoot someone for some ridiculous reason, it’s probably going to happen,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor during a press conference held after a shooting took the lives of two men in 2022. “This is not a police only issue. People have got to be held accountable for their own actions.”
Rapidly changing racial demographics in Indianapolis appear to directly correlate with the colossal rise in violent crime. As early as the 1970s, White people formed an impressive 80% of the city’s total population, according to the official US Census report. In a matter of fifty years, however, that number has sharply plummeted to 50% as of 2020. In the current day, White citizens are now flanked by a surging 27.6% Black and 13% Hispanic population, which seems to have created a racial schism with White people often caught in the crosshairs. In the neighborhood of Community Heights—where Stephen Flynn was murdered for his pizza pie—Black residents represented a whopping 42% of the population.
Flynn—a devout Catholic—leaves behind two children, a loving wife, and a large extended family who mourn his sudden loss. They plan on holding memorial services for Stephen after Holy Week. In the meantime, they’re looking for justice in any way they can.
“He was such a good person,” said Shannon. “He was a great, great father. He was their hero and it’s been very difficult for them.”
“We all suffer two deaths. Our second death is when people stop mentioning our name or stop mentioning our good works,” she continued. “I hope that when I pass, when I get there and see him again that he won’t have died a second death. That it will keep going on and on and on forever because he deserves that.”
As the Police continue with their investigation, they implore anyone with information concerning the murder of Stephen Flynn to contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.
Elderly White people have often been forced to work beyond retirement age in order to survive, as inflation and financial woes only worsen in the United States. As a result, they risk exposing themselves to horrific acts of non-White violence on the job. In December, an 83-year-old man was murdered after he was violently shoved to the ground by a black shoplifter at Home Depot. The victim, Gary Rasor, worked the register and was considered a customer favorite at the store. In June of last year, Victoria Partridge, a 55-year-old woman who served as an Uber driver, was brutalized and robbed by a gang of Black passengers in Las Vegas.
Have a story? Please forward any tips or leads to the editors at [email protected]