An Indiana father is dead a month after he was hit by a car and beaten with a baseball bat in a Walmart parking lot.
Demarcus Walker passed away in his sleep on Saturday, reported The Journal Gazette. He was 44 years old.
On March 7, Walker was walking toward his car in a Fort Wayne Walmart parking lot when he was struck by a red Chevy impala at around 10:30 a.m. Police say Levi Arnold, the driver, got out and began to beat Walker with a metal baseball bat. The attack did not stop until an armed bystander intervened.
Police officers were already on the way to the scene because they had received a call about a man wearing a ski mask who was driving around the parking lot, according to WANE 15. They found out about the assault before they arrived. Arnold fled the scene, undeterred by a detective who tried to stop his departure. After a brief chase, the 21-year-old was taken into custody.
Arnold was charged with attempted murder, resisting law enforcement in a vehicle and aggravated battery. As of this writing, the charges have not been upgraded.
“Right now we are going to wait until the coroner’s report comes out,” Fort Wayne Police spokeswoman Sgt. Sofia Rosales Scatena explained to local station WANE 15. “I know it sounds kind of weird that we have to wait when that happens, but we have to apply legal principles to this. We have to know what the cause of death was and then we will go over that with the prosecutor’s office and find out if any additional charges or different charges are warranted.”
Fort Wayne NBC reported surveillance cameras in the parking lot showed Arnold’s car speeding up and swerving to hit Walker.
“The suspect is then seen getting out of the red Impala, and according to witnesses, starts to strike the victim several times with a metal baseball bat in the head,” an affidavit filed with the court read.
A motive for the crime has not been established, but Walker’s daughter believes her father is the victim of a hate crime.
“I feel like it was a hate crime. It had to be,” Zai’qaria Walker said last month. “The way I understand in the paper, he was walking around Walmart with a ski mask on looking for people to beat up. That’s how I feel about it.”
Arnold’s next court date is scheduled for May 6.