Max Levine Memorial
Team Member: Linzey Gunter
Laura Roseberry wrote -
Max Levine has left this world with an AMAZING three year little girl, Maddison. All proceeds will go to her in remembrance of Max. Rest in Peace.
INDIANAPOLIS — At about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Janice Bickel got the phone call that is every parent’s worst nightmare: Her son had been shot.
Bickel’s son, Max Levine, a 25-year-old Kokomo resident, was shot and killed at about 2 a.m. Saturday in Coke Lot 1 near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Avory Johnson, 19, of Indianapolis, was arrested later Saturday in relation to the shooting, according to a news release from Speedway Police Lt. Trent Theobald. Marion County Jail spokesman Julio Fernandez said Johnson is being held without bond on a charge of murder.
Bickel’s friend first notified her something had happened to her son. She made an early morning trip from Kokomo to Indianapolis, but she was held at the front gate and couldn’t immediately get any more information about Levine.
“We stayed till the crime scene was clear. I wanted to go see where my son was,” Bickel said.
This year was the first time Levine had gone to the Indianapolis 500, Bickel added, and he made the trip with some friends from his softball team. She did not think Levine knew the suspect.
The Coke Lot is a popular spot across the street from the speedway, where Indy 500 race fans have set up tents and partied on race weekend for decades. An argument preceded the shooting, Theobald told The Indianapolis Star.
Levine had a 3-year-old daughter, Maddison, who lived with him part of the time, Bickel said. He was studying for a business degree at the Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo campus and also had started training as an apprentice carpenter. He graduated from Kokomo High School.
“He had a lot of friends. He was kind of one of those people who knew everybody and everybody knew him,” Bickel said. “I was very proud of him. He always took care of me.”
In addition to his mother and daughter, Levine also is survived by his grandmother, Linda Bickel; grandfather, Bob Bickel; brother, Victor Levine, 22; and sister, Victoria Levine, 20.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Brian Olehy said the race weekend incident is unusual, but it isn’t the first shooting. In 2012, a fan was hospitalized after he was shot in the chest after an apparent altercation across from the speedway.
Levine’s death was the first violent death on race weekend in Theobald’s 16 years with the Speedway Police Department, he told the Star, adding that fights were common on race weekend.