IMPD frustrated by non-cooperation in teen shootings

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indianapolis teenagers are living in an ever more violent world.

Three teens, ages 13-, 14 and 16-years-old, are recovering from non-life threatening injuries after a drive-by shooting outside a northwest side events center Saturday night.

The mother of one victim told FOX59 that her son did not know his assailant or a reason for the shooting though he did identify a red car.

An initial police report indicates the driver of the car was armed.

Last week IMPD chaplains held a prayer service for Matthew McGee, a 13-year-old Belzer Middle School student who was shot to death Sept. 9 in Castleton.

Police were thwarted in the days after the killing by parents who would not allow their children to tell investigators what they saw.

Meanwhile, more Indianapolis teenagers are being arrested with guns.

Last Wednesday night, an Indiana State Police trooper spotted a car with a burned out headlight near 38th Street and Pendleton Pike on the northeast side and arrested four teens between 16- and 18-years-old, and confiscated three handguns, one stolen from Kentucky, and a black ski mask.

A day and a night later, officers at IMPD’s North District headquarters, which came under fire from a gunman a year ago, heard gunshots.

Four 17-year-olds were arrested after running away from the scene and a stolen gun was recovered.

“I think this younger generation is quick to grab guns,” said IMPD Captain Mike Elder at the scene of Saturday night’s birthday party drive-by shooting. “We don’t know how old the people who did the shooting are but we are seeing more and more juveniles get shot.”

“When you’re out here dealing with these young people in the streets almost everybody has a gun now,” said Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition, who is struggling to convince witnesses to tell police what they know about the murder of a teenager in his community last spring.

The body of Sema Jordan, 15, was found in the 900 block of West 35th Street April 10th.

“We had Sema killed in the alley, there are people who know who did it but nobody will talk,” said Harrison. “This whole, ‘no snitching’ code, now it's not only the people in the streets but now it’s a large part of the community now that believes in this ‘No Snitching’ code. Parents believe that. Parents are now teaching their children and when these children have children they’re teaching their children so it's being passed down from parents to children to grandchildren.”

“Juveniles, you always want their parents there if possible, so trying to find parents trying to keep them in an area, I mean, if they’re in a parking lot there’s back doors. People are going to be coming in and out,” said Elder.

“They’re concerned about their own kids,” said IMPD Chief Bryan Roach after Monday’s memorial service for Matthew McGee. “We’re gonna do everything we can to make them feel safe to have that conversation.”

“It makes it fearful for me to let my kids go anywhere because I’m concerned if something happens nobody’s gonna say anything,” said Harrison who has called for a citywide conversation from local political leaders, the clergy and teachers to convince parents to allow their children to cooperate with investigators.

If you or your children know anything about the shootings of three teenagers at the Royal Palace Events Center in the 3700 block of Lafayette Road Saturday night, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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