AUSTIN, IN (WAVE) - A 79 year old beloved businessman was shot to death during a robbery and the search is on to find out who did this.
The shooting happened on the afternoon of November 7 at John's Coin and Jewelry Shop in downtown Austin.
Initially it was thought the death of John Turner was something other than a homicide. At first, the family member initially thought a medical condition caused Turner to fall in his shop, but once Indiana State Police investigators looked a little closer it was clear his death was murder.
Tucked into West Main Street in downtown, John's Coin and Jewelry Shop has been a staple for decades. It's the place where John Turner was found dead inside on Saturday afternoon.
"After the doctors and the coroner's office examined Mr. Turner at the hospital, they determined that there was a wound to his head that was not consistent to the initial thought of a medical emergency," ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin said.
An autopsy revealed Turner died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Goodin says at first nothing seemed out of place inside the store. As they looked closer, they realized merchandise was stolen, but due to the investigation won't say what or how much.
"We do know one thing, it was a very cowardly, despicable crime that was committed on a defenseless 79 year old man, who was unarmed," Goodin said.
Dave Huey, the senior pastor at Austin Christian Church, was a close friend and said Turner genuinely cared about people. Turner was known to visit with the sick at the local hospital and volunteer at the church carnival.
"A lot of folks would go into his shop and just talk and shoot the breeze with John," Huey said, "that was just the kind of guy he was."
In the window of his shop, Turner proudly displayed bible verses.
"He would share his love for the Lord with other people, if John had a model like Bob Russell used to say down at Louisville is get to heaven and take as many people with him as he possibly could," Huey said.
While knowing he's in a better place gives some comfort, Huey says finding out who did this would bring peace of mind.
If you saw anything out of the ordinary on November 7 between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., ISP wants you to call them.
"It may be the piece to the puzzle that we need to completely solve this crime," Goodin said.
Huey says Turner loved his wife and daughters and was especially proud of his grandchildren.