INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Brandon Mosley had a busy Saturday. The former Indiana University football player had just returned to Indianapolis from visiting his parents, he had a fraternity brother getting married that day and it was also his birthday. There was a lot going on.
About 10:45 p.m., on Saturday night, he called his best friend Chris Beaty, and they chatted for about 15 minutes. That wasn't out of the ordinary.
"Not at all. We talked every day,'' Mosley said Tuesday during a long telephone interview. "We were that tight. We finished talking and I told him I was going over to my friend's house to celebrate their wedding for a little while. He said to be careful because of the protests, and that he was just staying in. I told him I would, and that I would shout at him later.''
He never got the chance.
- FUNERAL DATES SET: The memorial service and funeral dates for Chris Beaty have been set. CLICK HERE
About an hour later, Beaty, a popular businessman and friend to so many that several people jokingly called him Mr. Indianapolis, was dead, apparently killed by thieves on a robbing spree right outside of his downtown apartment.
Mosley missed a call from Beaty at 11:39 p.m., and tried to call back at 11:52, but there was no answer. He tried a few more times, didn't get an answer, but didn't think anything of it.
"My calls just went to voicemail, so I figured I'd just catch up with him in the morning,'' Mosley said.
Little did he know, his best friend was dead.
Mosley found out Beaty was gone on Sunday, shaking his world. Devastated and distraught, he wanted to find out answers. He spent all day Monday piecing the events together, and he learned a lot.
"I felt like it was Chris guiding me, too, like he was telling me, 'Find out what happened to me.' It was the most surreal day of my life, like my eyes just kept opening wider and wider.''
Finding answers with guidance
Mosley and his friends spent several hours on Monday retracing Beaty's final steps.
They learned that when the police arrived after the shots were fired and they found him dead, they didn't know who he was because he didn't have any identification on him. He was taken to the hospital and labeled as a John Doe — the second one that night, as it turned out.
On Sunday, Mosley said he called Beaty late in the morning, but there was still no answer. He called again shortly before 2 p.m., and still no word. So he called a few friends and they went to Beaty's apartment.
"My friends said they walked right in. The door wasn't even locked, so we knew he wouldn't have gone anywhere,'' Mosley said. "His wallet was right there on the table too. He had two phones, and one of the phones was next to his wallet.''
This was Sunday afternoon, so they called the police and they didn't have any reports under Beaty's name. They started calling around to hospitals looking for him, and there was no record of him there, either. One hospital administrator said there were two John Doe's who were brought in that night, though.
Mosley said Beaty's sister went to one hospital, but the body there wasn't Beaty. Then she got a call from the other hospital, saying they had identified Beaty from fingerprints.
It was indeed the 38-year-old Beaty.
Monday fact-finding mission
"When I woke up Monday morning," Mosley said, "I needed to go find answers. And I never would have imagined what I would find out."
Mosley and his friends walked everywhere and talked to neighbors. About mid-afternoon, they were walking up toward Vermont Street when one of Mosley's friends saw a shell casing. He yelled out to Mosley and the others, and they all looked closer. Almost instantly, they found two more shell casings. They called 911 immediately and the cops were there in a matter of minutes.
"That's why we were there. That was Chris guiding us," Mosley said. "And when the cops got there, one guy said he was on the scene Saturday night. And he told us, 'your friend died trying to protect two women who were getting their purses snatched.'"
Mosley wanted to be very clear about something else too, on this difficult Saturday night in downtown Indianapolis where protests took place, but looting did, too.
"These were not protesters, they were just bad guys out there robbing people,'' he said. "And they killed my best friend."
Chris Beaty 'genuinely cared about you'
The thing that Chris Davis remembers most about his good friend Chris Beaty was that he was always smiling.
Not some of the time.
Not most of the time.
"That's just the way he was, the way he was wired. He was always happy," said Davis, a former Indiana football player who's been close friends with Beaty for more than a decade. "Chris was always excited to see you, and whenever we got together, we always had fun. And if you needed anything? He was there for you. Chris would always help you at the drop of a dime, and that's what I'll always remember about him.
"If I need help with marketing or PR on a project, or even just had some questions, I'd call him and he'd alway be, 'What's up, Boss?' or 'What do you need, Boss?' He always called me Boss. He was such a good, good guy. I'm going to miss him. We all are."
Beaty grew up in Indianapolis and was a football star at Cathedral High School in the late 1990s, winning multiple state championships. He played at Indiana from 2000 to 2003 and has been a successful businessman in Indianapolis ever since, doing many things from managing popular night clubs to sponsoring events and owning several other businesses as well.
He touched a lot of lives, and his death over the weekend staggered and stunned a lot of people.
"I'm still stunned. He was such a good dude and it's hard to believe he is gone,'' said Ron Moore, the basketball coach at Cardinal Ritter and a long-time friend of Beaty's. "I honestly don't know a single person who's ever said a bad word about him. He was just that way. He was a special guy.''
Moore said that Beaty had a selfless charm about him that was engaging.
"He's one of the very few people I've ever known who genuinely cared about what's going on with you, whether it had anything to do with him or not,'' Moore said. "His love for people was real, man. He really cared. When I got the head coaching job at Ritter, he was the first one to call. He was as happy for me as I was, maybe even more so.''
Davis, who's the director of athletics at a faith-based non-profit in Dallas called Mercy Street, said the same thing about Beaty. He was always more concerned about what was going on in your life than he was in his, and he was always conformable in bringing people together from all walks of life.
"I always marveled at his amazing ability to relate to all different kinds of people, and his ability to command every room that he walked into,'' said Davis, who played football at Indiana from 1997-99. "Everyone who knew him knew this amazing, happy, upbeat guy who was always smiling. And he was comfortable in any situation, with people from every socio-economic group, and he was always bringing people together.''
A Hoosier through and through
Beaty was at Indiana from 2000 to 2004 and he made hundreds of friends there, many of them who are still friends to this day. He remained actively involved in all things Indiana, and made sure everyone was along for the ride with him.
"He was an extremely active alum and he was always great about arranging get-togethers when we'd come back for games,'' Davis said. "He really supported that team any way he could. He'd host game-day parties, but he'd always be putting other things together too around every big event in town. The Indy 500, playoffs, the NFL combine. He was always the leader when it came to putting things together.''
Larra Overton, a popular Indianapolis media personality who now works for the Indianapolis Colts, has known Beaty since college. They were at IU at the same time, and Overton ran track while Beaty played football. They became friends quickly.
His love for his alma mater is off the charts, Overton said, as is his love for his many friends.
"When I moved to Indianapolis in 2010, I quickly ran into him because he was everywhere. He was Mr. Indianapolis, for sure,'' Overton said. "And he went out of his way to help me adjust to living and working in Indy, in my new hometown. He has so many contacts, and he was always reaching out to me, asking me what he could do to help, both just in adapting to a new city but also making contacts for work.''
Every minute with Beaty was a pure pleasure, Overton said.
"I'd see him at a Colts game this year, and every time he'd give me a big greeting, a big ol' bear hug and that bright, bright smile of his,'' she said. "You just felt that warmth every time you were around him.
"And when he'd see me doing my thing with the Colts, he'd always say, 'I'm just so proud of you.' He was just so genuine, and he had this incredible ability to connect with people. He'd ask how you were doing, and he'd take the time to listen to your response. He truly cared about you. That was obvious.''
Overton had a recent tale to tell that summed up their friendship best. Beaty, that huge Indiana University alum, wanted to do something special for IU Day in April, which couldn't be celebrated with public events because of he COVID-19 pandemic. So Beaty put together a fun video that included a lot of well-known former Indiana football and basketball players—and this unknown track girl that he called his friend.
"He asked me to be in the video, and he didn't have to do that. He had all those big-time football and basketball guys, but he wanted me in it too, and I thought that was so nice,'' Overton said. "That's Chris right there. He was always thinking about other people, too. He was always so eager to support you, and to celebrate you.''
Those friends are all trying to celebrate Beaty now, in their own way, now that he's gone far too soon. Many are fighting through tears, fighting through some hard emotions of a life taken from them so unfairly.
Chris Beaty will be missed by a lot of people, and there's absolutely no doubt about that.
"Whether you knew him for 15 years or 15 minutes, you knew you had a great friend,'' Overton said.
Previous Chris Beaty stories
- BEATY KILLED OUTSIDE APARTMENT (June 1): After violence broke out in downtown Indianapolis after a night of protesting, former Indiana football player Chris Beaty was killed outside his apartment trying to stop a robbery. CLICK HERE
- BEATY'S FINAL MOMENTS (June 2): Chris Beaty died "trying to help others'' as friends describe his final hours that ended with his murder outside his downtown Indianapolis apartment. CLICK HERE
- ARTISTS COMMEMORATE BEATY (June 4): The story behind the artists' mural of Chris Beaty in downtown Indianapolis, and the scholarship fund set up in his honor to help students at Cathedral High School and Indiana University. CLICK HERE
- FUNERAL DATES SET (June 6): The memorial service and funeral dates for Chris Beaty have been set. CLICK HERE
- HELPING OTHERS SUCCEED (June 10): Chris Beaty was a successful businessman, but what matters to him even more was helping his friends succeed with their businesses, too. CLICK HERE
- TEARS FLOW AT BEATY MEMORIAL (June 12): Thousands of people came to say goodbye to Chris Beaty during his memorial service on Friday. CLICK HERE