Relatives of Indy man killed outside Family Dollar are no strangers to tragedy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis family is preparing to bury a loved one following a fatal shooting late Wednesday.

The killing took place outside a Family Dollar on the city’s east side.

Police say at least four people were fighting in the parking lot on east New York Street when 22-year-old Deshawn Jefferson was shot and killed. He’s the nephew of a local church pastor, who says his family is no stranger to tragedy.

“The violence is totally out of control I think in our city,” said Derek Jefferson.

Pastor Jefferson has only loving memories of Deshawn.

“Deshawn was a great nephew. He was loving and kind and a young man trying to survive in life like anyone else,” said Jefferson.

Deshawn’s death is the second time in two months Derek has lost a nephew to gunfire. In early March, a shooting in the parking lot of a shopping plaza in Lawrence claimed the life of 18-year-old Conway Jefferson.

“It’s not what you want to experience in life, burying your loved one every year or every other month because of gun violence,” said Jefferson.

In February 2014, another of Derek’s nephews, 22-year-old Carlos Jefferson Junior was shot to death on Hovey Street. Two months later, in April 2014, Derek’s brother was killed in a driveway at a home on the east side.

Over the years, Derek estimates he’s lost more than a half dozen family members to gun violence.

“It’s always hard to hear a loved one dies from gun violence,” said Jefferson.

Derek’s family of course isn’t alone. In a different shooting Wednesday night, four people were shot and wounded between the ages of 17 and 20 on the near northwest side.

For his part, Derek believes more community involvement is the best way to prevent gun violence.

“We have to buy back our community and buy back our neighborhoods. Every church should get involved and find out who’s doing what. Trust me people know what’s going on,” said Jefferson.

So far no arrests have been made in Deshawn’s shooting. Anyone with information on the suspects can contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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