INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released their most recent homicide numbers for 2019, and the numbers have remained nearly unchanged since last year.
"The indiscriminate shooting and violence that's going on in this neighborhood needs to stop," IMPD Major Harold Turner said at the scene of a shooting on Wednesday.
So far this year, police recorded 112 homicides in Indianapolis. Of those, 94 were shootings. Compare that to 117 at this time in 2018 and 111 in 2017.
“Instead of settling some dispute by talking about it, the first thing is to pull out a gun and shoot somebody,” said Pastor Dave Rozelle, a board member with the Indiana Healthy Marriage and Family Coalition
Rozelle understands guns, in fact he had one on his hip during the interview. That’s why he’s hosting a fatherhood forum next week hoping others will understand how to safely have them
"If you're not going to respect the law and you carry a gun, there's a problem with that,” Rozelle said. "We want to encourage legal gun owners to be responsible with the right they have to carry a gun.”
Rozelle says keeping illegal guns off the street has been an issue. Despite IMPD getting more than 3,000 guns off the streets last year, they keep getting into the wrong hands.
"You can find a 14-year-old, and if he trusts you, he can tell you where to get a gun," Rozelle said. "So if a 14-year-old knows where to get guns from, why don't the police?”
With this forum, Rozelle is calling on law enforcement, community members and families to look out for each other, hoping to prevent future tragedies from hitting close to home.
"At some point, that person can end up being a victim of gun play, or they can perpetrate gun play and make some other family have to go to a funeral and grieve the loss of their loved one,” Rozelle said.
The forum is part of a series called “Gun Rights and Gun Violence” and it's sponsored by the Indiana Healthy Marriage and Family Coalition. The event is on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Haughville branch of the Indianapolis Public Library and it's open to the public.