2 murders in 2 days highlights need for change on east side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A 34-year-old father is gunned down in the middle of the street overnight on the near northeast side.

The murder took place in the 2900 block of LaSalle.  That’s near 30th and Sherman and just one mile away from the scene of another deadly shooting Monday morning.

A series of gunshots rang out in the middle of the night on this street.  Henry Wills went outside to investigate.

“I went down there.  They had roped it off.  I didn’t know it was my son,” said the victim’s father Henry Wills.

Minutes later Henry realized the shots he heard killed his 34-year-old son Simon Wills.

“It`s still unbelievable,” said Wills.

Less than 24 hours earlier, just a mile away near 38th and Sherman in a different shooting, the family of Senteayehou Henry found the 40-year-old murdered inside his own home.

A map highlighting homicides around the city this year shows clear clusters near two east side focus areas, including nearly a dozen murders within a mile of 30th and Sherman.

“It`s more out of control this year than I have seen in a while,” said Rev. Charles Harrison with the Ten Point Coalition.

Last year, Butler-Tarkington and Crown Hill on the north side saw a spike in murders, but with renewed focus by Ten Point there haven`t been any killing in those areas this year.

”Boots on the ground is key.  You have to know what’s going on in these neighborhoods,” said Harrison.

Rev. Harrison says this past weekend he met with leaders on the east side who want to use Ten Point as a model to fight crime, but the key is getting people who live on the east side involved.

“What we can do is train them to do street engagements,  but the neighborhoods themselves have to have people that can be deployed in those neighborhoods,” said Harrison.

“We gotta do something,” said Wills.  “It`s too much for me as an older guy to watch young men killing each other.  They`re killing a whole generation off.”

Simon Wills had recently been the victim of a non-fatal shooting.

He leaves behind a teenage daughter.

So far no arrests have been made in either of the homicides this week.