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Fan Dies After Being Shot in Parking Lot Near Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 23:  Cars drive down pit road during final practice on Carb Day for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 23, 2014 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2014

A 25-year-old man was shot and killed early Saturday morning in a parking lot near Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one day before the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The Indianapolis Star's Mark Alesia reports one man was taken into custody in connection with the death of Max Levine of Kokomo, Indiana. Nineteen-year-old Avory Johnson of Indianapolis is reportedly facing a preliminary charge of murder, though authorities said the investigation is ongoing.

Alesia provided comments from Speedway Police Department spokesman Trent Theobald, who stated it was the first homicide on race weekend in at least 16 years. He said there were no plans for an immediate change of protocol:

It doesn't matter how many police officers you have in that area, you'll always have alcohol-fueled incidents. That's a large area. It's a multi-agency effort. ... Unfortunately, we still have fights and this fight led to a shooting. The response time was faster than usual, which is why we were able to find witnesses, which led to the arrest.

Theobald told the paper there were two groups that got into an altercation that began verbally before escalating until the shooting. The incident happened around 2 a.m. ET on Saturday.

Friday was Coors Light Carb Day, part of the Indianapolis 500 festivities. The day featured practice, a Pit Stop Challenge and a concert, among other events, but the track was scheduled to close for the day at 6 p.m. ET, according to the race's official site.

Levine's mother confirmed to The Indianapolis Star that her son traveled to the event with a large group of friends.

It's unclear what sparked the altercation. No further information about a possible motive has been released.

The 2014 Indianapolis 500 is slated to begin at 12:12 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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