Finding Justin’s Killer

By Max Resnik

January 4, 2012 Updated Jan 4, 2012 at 7:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – It has been more than two months since 23-year-old Justin Bush was shot and killed at Mookie’s Bar and Grill, and his death remains one of seven unsolved homicides in the Summit City from 2011.

Bush, an aspiring hip-hop artist whose songs can be heard on local radio stations, nearly did not make it out of his house the night he was shot. His father Gary says Justin had been battling a sickness and could barely make it out of bed. Gary asked his son if he was well enough to join him to watch Monday Night Football. Justin declined and instead spent the night at Mookie’s. There, he and two others were shot. Justin died the following the day from his wounds. His parents were unable to see him before he died, but they did learn of his last words.

“We did however get a chance to talk to the fellow who stood next to him as he was dying and his last words were, "Tell my mother and father that I love them and I'm sorry,”’ says Justin’s father, Gary Bush.

The past two months have been a roller coaster of emotions for the Bushes. In addition to grieving for a son who died before his time, they battle with sadness and anger. Their anger is derived from the fact that the individual who shot their son walks Fort Wayne’s streets freely. Venus Bush, Justin’s mother, says that without her faith in God, she does not know how she could get through life.

“I describe it as a hole in my heart. It just doesn’t heal. It’s just pain.”

It is that pain that Gary does not want to see inflicted on other Fort Wayne families.

“As long as this guy’s out there, there’s a threat to every family.”

Gary says the culture of fear about speaking out has to come to an end. Gary is meeting with local groups to talk about how teenagers can be encouraged to “break the silence.” He says that because society permits young adults to remain silent out of fear, the epidemic of withholding information does more to hurt than to help victims’ families.

Venus says possessing information about her son’s death, or anyone else’s death, is unacceptable.

“If you know and you don’t come forth, on some level, you’re kind of guilty.”

The investigation into Justin’s death remains ongoing, but the Fort Wayne Police Department does say that have a person of interest in this case.

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