INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 14, 2014)—Tuesday night, a FOX59 News crew was approached by a gunman, and our vehicle was carjacked.
We’re so happy to report that everyone is safe.
Our reporter and photographer were carjacked at gunpoint after covering a story about a prayer vigil on the east side of Indianapolis.
"Our first instinct was to go back and help her, but we didn't want to be exposed to any possible dangers ourselves, because maybe that could've been a lure to get some of the family to come and save her," said Jacqueline Beasley, mother of murder victim Dominic Amey, Jr.
The stolen FOX59 vehicle was found shortly after the incident. Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department flooded the vicinity near East 37th Street and Emerson Avenue and discovered the news unit parked several blocks away. Evidence was recovered from the vehicle, including a BB gun that resembled a .45 pistol.
Public Safety Director Troy Riggs was dismayed that a neighborhood predator would capitalize on a prayer vigil and prey on a news crew sent into the community to tell the story.
"What people are seeing with this incident is what our police officers deal with on a daily basis," Riggs said. "You have a family that is grieving the loss of a loved one, they're having a rally to remember that person, and someone has such little respect to do something like this."
Riggs and Police Chief Rick Hite, along with Mayor Greg Ballard, recently listed the East 38th Street corridor, along with five other communities, as locations for focused city services and police enforcement. Crime, housing, poverty and health data have shown that the six areas absorb an excessive amount of city services for their relative population base.
By bringing together police, code enforcement, mental health and public works resources, city officials hope to blitz the communities with services and galvanize residents in playing a crucial role in bringing their neighborhoods back.
"It's hard for someone to show respect for police, clergy, media, other institutions, when they don't respect themselves and they don't feel like they have hope," said Riggs. "We want to win respect back, we want to be in there long term, we want to work with individuals on common goals and objectives. we want to work with the citizens of those communities on improving the quality of life in their communities."
The sister of Amey, whose body was found on an abandoned property last week, said the carjacking and robbery of the news crew is an example of the crime residents face on a regular basis.
"It tells us that we're not the only ones going through it," said Damicka Beasley, "that the neighbors in the community, that the neighbors that live over there, they're going through it day by day, they have to look over their shoulder and look out for their kids or their loved ones and try to protect themselves to make sure it doesn't happen to them and no one should ever have to live that way. No one should ever have to look over their shoulder and watch their back."
"I feel like it was the same perpetrator that did this to my son that also done this to you guys," said Amey's mother, "and he was trying to send a subliminal message and using that as a scare tactic, but we're not scared. No one's scared."
Amey's sister said that as long as the media will tell her brother's story and IMPD will continue to investigate her brother's murder, the family won't back down.
"When good people don't help out or don't stand up it just goes unsolved and it just goes cold and the perpetrator feels like, 'Yes, they didn't catch us on this one so we can do it again and again and again,' and they're going to keep doing it again until somebody steps up and says, 'We're tired of this,' and put up a fight to do whatever it takes to stop this violence, stop this madness."
No suspects have been named.