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Indy on track to match deadliest year on record as police investigate latest murder

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – IMPD detectives continue to search for a killer after a man was found shot to death in alley on Indy’s near northeast side.

A pair of gunshots, followed by an anonymous tip, led police to the alley near 38th Street and Adams Street Tuesday night. That’s where investigators found the body of 31-year-old Kevin Luther II.

Court records show Luther recently moved to a drug treatment facility in the neighborhood as he fought to clean up his life.

His death puts the city on pace to match the deadliest year on record. The homicide marked the 120th criminal homicide in the city this year; that is just one shy of the 121 murders the city saw at the same time last year.

In 2016, Indianapolis set a record with 149 criminal homicides and capped a four-year increase from 144 murders in 2015, 138 in 2014 and 127 in 2013.

“That’s sad for the city of Indianapolis. We need to do better,” said Reverand Malachi Walker.

Police do not know if drugs played any role in the death in the alley, but Walker says most violent crime in the city has a common cause.

“When we talk about homicide rates, we have to look at the number one factor and that’s drugs. We have a serious problem with drugs,” said Walker.

“There’s so many factors that impact homicide rates, drugs and narcotics all have a factor in it,” said IMPD officer Genae Cook.

Police admit so far this year close to 40 percent of the city’s murders have been solved, a number that falls below the national average.

“Our clearance rate is below the national average, but it does remain a top priority for our investigations,” said Cook.

In some cases, including the killing of a 13-year-old outside Long John Silver’s, some witnesses were told by parents not to cooperate with police. That’s a mentality police say needs to change to get the city’s the homicide rate lower and the clearance rate higher.

“We need to be involved as a community and we can. We’ve got to learn that we have to speak up,” said Walker.

Police did not have any good suspect information to give out on this case, but anyone with information on any unsolved murder is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to a felony arrest.