Homicide rate up nearly 30 percent as IMPD searches for answers

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis’ murder rate is at its highest level since 2006.

“As of today we have 117 murders,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Chris Bailey. “Last year we finished with 96. We peaked in the city of Indianapolis in 2006 with 140 murders.”

The national murder rate is also climbing, said Bailey, though IMPD has compiled statistics that explain who is dying and why:

  • 79 percent of murder victims had an adult prior history and 81 percent of adult murder suspects have a prior history
  • 42 percent of victims have some sort of gun-related arrests and 38 percent of suspects have had a gun-related arrest
  • IMPD has been able to pin at least 35 homicides directly to drug occurrences or drug-related incidents

“We believe it’s probably much more than that,” Bailey said of the drug-related statistic.

A drug deal likely led to the murder of Dajon Parson, 21, at Lakeview Apartments on the eastside Sunday.

His body was found sprawled on an apartment building stoop, drugs in his pocket.

Another man, Matthew Hughes, was found wounded two blocks away, a gun and more drugs in his possession.

Police reports indicate Hughes was shot during a drug deal in July.

“We have some victims of non-fatal shootings who have been shot two or three times or have been on the scene of two or three non-fatal shooting throughout their life,” said Bailey. “Why is that?”

Bailey said IMPD is seeking to curb the murder rate by targeting the most dangerous neighborhoods for more enforcement, tracking returning prison parolees, cleaning up communities and providing mental health counseling.