MICHIGAN CITY | Officials said a retired teacher was killed when he was brutally beaten inside his Michigan City home.
LaPorte County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Huffman said multiple blunt force trauma to the head was ruled the cause of death following a Monday autopsy.
Authorities are not shedding light on what was used to deliver the blows or exactly how many times the victim was struck.
Huffman did say the blows were numerous.
"I believe it was more than 10," he said.
Gerald Peters, 69, was found dead Thursday inside his home in the 300 block of Walker Street
Within a few hours, police following a chase of the victim's vehicle arrested the alleged driver, 17-year-old Trevon Walker, along with Ryan Phelps, 20; Melvin Basford, 18, and Martell Anderson, 16.
Each of the suspects is charged with murder and other counts.
Peters was a high school English teacher in Michigan City and former officer with the Michigan City Federation of Teachers.
He also was involved in running the Mainstreet Theatre on Franklin Street in downtown Michigan City.
Peters had many friends, which was evident by a large turnout for a candlelight vigil outside his residence last week.
"He was real friendly. Real nice," said Lusandia Hubbard, who lives across the street.
The 71-year-old Hubbard said she and Peters would speak to each other when they both were doing yard work.
Hubbard said Peters kept his yard looking neat and had a lot of flowers.
"I just don't have the words to say how I feel. It's real sad," said Hubbard.
Friends of Peters say he had taken in one of the suspects and allowed him to live in his basement but recently had asked him to leave.
Hubbard said she never talked to the young man but on several occasions saw him outside cleaning the yard.
"You really can't trust people. You really can't. People just don't have a heart for people no more," Hubbard said.