Triple homicide raises concerns about large crowds after near northwest side jazz festival

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A shooting left three men dead on Indy’s near northwest side Sunday night.

Police say hundreds of people were in the area at the time of the gunfire, which took place just hours after a popular jazz festival at Watkins Park.

IMPD detectives are still investigating what led up to the shooting, but community leaders say that more needs to be done to control the large crowds of people that come the to the area every Sunday night that may have contributed to the violence.

“This is not acceptable. There’s no reason for three young people to die,” said community activist Eddie Owens.

Owens didn't know the victims, but multiple witnesses say the shooting started as a fight at a Family Dollar parking lot and spilled down an alley before ending on Ethel Avenue.

19-year-old Anthony Neeley, 21-year-old Christopher Milbrook and 24-year-old Daniel Washam were killed.

“We’re frustrated.  We are frustrated at 10 point,” said Rev. Charles Harrison with the 10 Point Coalition.

Before the shooting, the annual Jazz in the Park festival at Watkins Park attracted a large crowd and hundreds of people remained in the area three hours after the music ended.

“It’s a great event, but it’s the atmosphere around it that lasts late into the night that is the concern,” said Harrison.

In fact, exactly two years three people were shot and one man died during a similar block party along MLK.

“There isn’t enough security, which was our concern two years ago, to keep peace in the neighborhood,” said Harrison.

“Jazz in the Park is not tied to this.  You can’t blame Jazz in the Park,” said Owens.

While no one wants to cancel Jazz in the Park, even the man who helped start the event 21 years ago agree more needs to be done to clear the streets and keep them safe after the festival.

“For that three hours we have peace in the streets and we’re proud of that, but we have concerns about violence in the neighborhood,” said Jazz in the Park founder Steve Barnett.

So far, no arrests have been made, but anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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