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Officials identify 27-year-old victim in first Indy homicide of 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Three days into the year and Indianapolis has seen it’s first homicide on 2018.

The violence comes on the heels of the city setting a dubious record of 154 murders in 2017.

The latest violence took place Wednesday morning on the city’s near northeast side in the 3600 block of Schofield Avenue.

The back window of a car was shattered and a man was found dead in the passenger seat. Police were called to the street and found the year's first homicide victim inside a car, but investigators were not sure what led up to the death.

The victim was identified as Rodriquez K. Anderson, 27.

"The back window does have damage to it. It’s not clear how that occurred. We believe the vehicle may have been in an earlier accident," said IMPD officer Genae Cook.

Several neighbors say they didn’t hear or see anything suspicious and for good reason. Police would not explain exactly how Anderson died, but did say the violence likely took place at another unknown location.

"It appears the vehicle was brought to this location, but the incident did not occur here," said Cook.

"It’s very disappointing, but I pray this doesn’t turn into a trend," said Rev. James Black with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.

Obviously there’s no good time to have the years first homicide, but history shows that deadly violence during the first week of the year in not unusual.

The first murder of the year in 2017 also took place on Jan. 3. In 2016, a 19-year-old was shot and killed kicking off the years violence on Jan. 4.

The first criminal homicide of 2015 took place on Jan. 7, while 2014 saw it’s first case Jan. 2.

The neighborhood in this year's first case is not one the 10 Point Coalition actively patrols, but one member of the group showed up to the scene and again called on the community to make 2018 safer than recent years.

"The public needs to help. The only way we’re going to get anything resolved is to see something and say something," said Black. "Just don’t let this turn into a record breaking year as it did last year."

Going back to 2014, the IMPD has been able to make an arrest in the first murder of the year every year.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.