INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Community leaders and IMPD’s chief are confident the 15-year-old arrested in connection with a weekend triple homicide didn’t act alone.
On the heels of the shocking triple murder, a group of faith leaders rallied with the chief and called for changes in how the city combats youth violence.
The group also appealed Wednesday for people in the community to step forward so police can solve the case and find justice for the victims’ families. Leaders for Peace in the Streets, the Ten Point Coalition, Young Men Inc. and IMPD Command Staff spoke at Barnes United Methodist Church to appeal for peace in the streets in the wake of the shooting.
Dominique Miller, 25, Jordan Wright, 25, and Justin Crowder, 19, were fatally shot Sunday night on the north side. Investigators believe they were targeted in a drug robbery. Police arrested a 15-year-old who showed up at an area hospital with a gunshot wound hours after the fatal shooting.
“We know the police department does all they can do,” said Olgen Williams, a former deputy mayor for the city. “But they can’t do it themselves. I feel like we have a fine police department…it only works when we work together as a community.”
Williams said he doesn’t believe the 15-year-old suspect arrested this week acted alone. IMPD Chief Bryan Roach echoed those sentiments.
“We don’t know everything that did occur,” Roach said. “We don’t think he was acting alone. That’s why the appeal is here for more information.”
Unfortunately, this year deadly crimes involving teens has been tragically common. The victims include 14-year-old Anthony Hughes Jr., 15-year-old Sema J Jordan, 16-year-old Antonio Frierson and two 17-year-old Warren Central students, Dijon Anderson and Angel Mejia.
Chief Roach says police alone can’t stop youth violence.
“People like this behind me need support. They support their community, but they need resources,” said Roach.
Community leaders say it’s time for the city to step up, put its money where its mouth is, and truly invest in crime prevention programs.
“Some organizations are struggling because of the lack of the resources,” said Rev. Malachi Walker.
Rev. Walker, with Young Men Inc., runs a summer camp that provides activities to keep 110 boys out of trouble, but saw a 20 thousand dollar cut in city assistance this year.
“My organization is suffering because we normally get a grant from the city and we didn’t get it this summer,” said Walker.
Although gun laws aren’t likely to change, chief Roach also says parents need to do a better job keeping guns out of the hands of teens.
“We’re pretty good at the enforcement part of it, not so good at prevention and education and that’s why we need the public,” said Roach.
Clarence Moore with the 10 Point Coalition urged people with information on the triple killing to reach out to the Ten Point Coalition by calling (317) 755-9471. The line is open, as is the Crime Stoppers hotline at (316) 262-TIPS.
“Our team will work with you to turn yourself in, in a safe manner,” Moore said. “We want peace on the streets not just to be a slogan, but to be an action.”
He and the others called upon the community to be vigilant. Like Moore, Rev. Walker called on community action.
“Our young people are committing crimes, the types of crimes that years ago wouldn’t happen,” Walker said. “Parents need to be strongly involved and connected with our young people and start talking to them.”