INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- It’s been a violent week across Indianapolis with ten homicides since Thanksgiving Eve. The latest happened Wednesday night on the city’s west side, where officers say a man was shot and killed by another man who was acting in self-defense.
In looking at the rash of homicides during the past week, investigators say there are likely two culprits: drugs and people who can’t figure out how to agreeably disagree. Police admit it’s impossible to predict a homicide, but say assistance from the community can help to prevent one.
“It’s not really looking like they’re random acts of violence,” said Officer James Gillespie of IMPD.
So if these killings aren’t random, why have we seen such a recent spike? Police say the first reason is the success they’ve had targeting drug dealers which can lead to a turf war. For example, the sweep in early November during which 41 people were arrested.
“Because when you take a drug dealer out of an area, you’re going to have a couple different people who are going to compete for that area,” said Gillespie, “and so that can lead to more homicides unfortunately.”
Beyond that, authorities say a second reason is social arguments—personal disputes that get way out of hand.
“Anything from clothing to simple verbal arguments that spill into homicide where it reaches the point of gunfire, where in the past you might have only seen fistfights,” said Gillespie.
So what’s the answer? Authorities say a big part of the solution is community policing where officers offer solutions in addition to just enforcing the law.
“We’re letting them know, ‘Hey we have these resources available. We’re coming to them and saying what do you need?’” said Gillespie, “If you need work, we’ll help you try to find it; if you need food, we’re going to help you get it.”
Authorities also say they want more people to feel comfortable contacting them with tips on crime. As always if you know anything that can assist authorities, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers or IMPD.