INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis families are having to deal with a tragedy no parent ever should – losing a child. Tuesday, while one family marked two years since their 10-year-old child was killed, another family prepared to bury their 13-year-old.
While they search for justice, they're asking those who know something about the crimes to come forward.
"We called him little man. He got that name for a reason. Deshaun loved to rap, he loved sports, he had a big heart," said Shannon Swanson, the mother of Deshaun Swanson.
They held a balloon release in Tarkington Park to honor the boy on what marks two years since his death.
"It just shows that nobody has forgot about him, the people, you see people still here, so it just shows that people still care," said Shyanne Morris, his older sister.
Deshaun was shot and killed in September 2015 when someone fired into a home on Graceland Avenue. Three others were also hit.
"As a community everybody needs to stick together. If you know something that's wrong you should speak up, if you know somebody did something, it's tragic and it's wrong, you should speak up," Shannon Swanson said.
It's the same plea another family is now making too, for Matthew McGee.
"He was too young, he even didn't really get to live his life," his cousin, Sherae King, said. "It wasn't a day that went by that he didn't smile, you couldn't cry around him 'cuz he wouldn't let you."
The middle school student was shot in a parking lot near Castleton Square Mall a week and a half ago. Police said there were at least half a dozen teen witnesses on the scene. But officers said so far, folks are not cooperating.
"I just wish people just come forward, just tell somebody what happened, even if you scared to talk to the police just tell somebody," King said.
IMPD said as of Sept. 18, there were eight people younger than 18 years old who died in shooting-related incidents. At the same time last year, they had recorded three. Police said there's no one driving factor for the increase, but a myriad of issues.
"We just want justice, kids put the weapons down, put them down. It's too early, y'all still got a life to live," King said.
"A lot of our mothers we have that in common now, we have buried our children and it's a sad thing," Swanson said.
If you have information about these crimes, police ask you call detectives or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.