INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With candles on the grounds of White River State Park, friends remembered Chris Beaty with the No. 96 — what he wore as an Indiana University football player.
Beaty, 38, shot and killed just before midnight on May 30, the second night in a row that protests erupted into rioting in downtown Indianapolis.
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Before the candles were lit, friends came forward to share written memories on cards that they attached to clotheslines. Some said that they remember a smile always being on his face and that he was always looking out for everyone. “A light for Indianapolis” is how one friend described him. The friends that organized the vigil wanted to see just how many lives Beaty touched. Friends say this vigil isn’t about a big message. It’s not about what Beaty stood for. They say it’s just to remember the man he was and to help others realize how they can “live like Chris” while getting to know how he lived through other people’s eyes.
“I honestly feel like it’s just the storytelling, smiling, the memories, and the connections that are going to be made here,” Laura Kauffman said. “I think — like you said — we don’t know half the people that Chris has impacted. And I think that this is going to be a really cool way to see everyone that Chris has touched, hear their story of how they met him and I think it’s just … he was so big on community and I think that that’s why this is the most important thing we could do.”
It’s hard to look around downtown without seeing some mention of Beaty. A memorial sits at the intersection of Talbot and Vermont streets where he was shot. Many of the boards up on businesses bear the hashtag ‘live like Chris.’
A GoFundMe has been set up for the Chris Beaty Memorial Fund.