INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Just before midnight Friday in Indianapolis, a man and woman were shot dead while sitting in a car. The man did not survive.
The shooting is the city’s 200th homicide this year.
“We are at fairly high figures. It’s not unique to Indianapolis – I think the country is seeing an increase in homicides, and we are certainly seeing it here in Indianapolis, ”said Major Kerry Buckner of the IMPD.
For Indy, 2021 was violent from the start.
On a cold January morning, four adults and an unborn child were murdered inside their home on the east side.
In March, a 7-year-old girl and three of her adult parents were murdered after an argument.
In April, a mass shooting at a FedEx facility near the airport claimed the lives of eight people and the suspect committed suicide before police arrived.
In July – the most violent month of the year – 32 people were murdered.
The Reverend Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition has been at the forefront of reducing violence in Indy for more than two decades.
“I am shocked at where we are at. I never thought there would be 200 homicides. When you go back to 2012, we would panic when we passed 100 homicides, ”Harrison said.
Harrison says there are a few violence prevention issues the city has overlooked, the first being the bottom-up approach to violence prevention that focuses on the unique issues of each neighborhood.
Harrison says the city has also neglected the revolving door of the justice system.
“Twenty years ago (we didn’t have) repeat violent offenders who were arrested and then taken back to the streets,” Harrison said.
Harrison says violence in the city escalated in 2012 – this is the last year Indy has had fewer than 100 homicides. And that was the same year that County City Council transferred millions of dollars from crime prevention programs from crime intervention to addressing the root causes of violence. The change in strategy failed, Harrison says.
“If you’re going to have a high number of shots and stabbing, you’re going to have a high number of homicides – and we have to reduce that. I mean, today we’re at 200 homicides and I think we’re at 1089 people who have been shot or stabbed this year, which includes the number of homicides, and I think it’s staggering. Harrison said.
He says violence is a problem the whole city must respond to. If the city continues on this path, Harrison believes Indy will see 300 homicides in a year over the next several years.