INDIANAPOLIS — 2021 has been a violent year in Indianapolis and the numbers back up that belief.
After six months several violent crime stats remain on a record pace.
Outside a Speedway gas station this week, witnesses say Damon Mcclain was shot to death trying to drive away in a car after stealing a bag of merchandise.
Court records show the store clerk, Vincent Bibbs, is accused of that murder.
That case marked the 122nd homicide of the year.
In addition to homicides, non-fatal shooting numbers are up this year compared to last, with 368 compared to 255.
“I think it’s always frustrating to see those numbers continue to climb,” said IMPD deputy chief Craig McCartt.
IMPD deputy chief McCartt admits the homicide stats this year are significantly higher than any recent year, including 2020 when there were 108 homicides after 6 months, which itself was a huge jump over previous years.
“I think we’re to the point that people have come to the realization that enough is enough,” said McCartt. “Pulling out your gun is no way to deal with conflict resolution.”
To combat the increase, IMPD has established new Violence Reduction Teams and Violent Crimes Task Forces in each district. Those targets specific repeat violent offenders and get illegal guns off the streets.
“We can’t measure what we prevented and I’m confident we have prevented a lot of violence,” said McCartt.
“We commend the efforts of those trying to address the crime, but it’s simply not working, and the numbers show it,” said Aaron Williams with the City of Peace Coalition.
Police say one violent crime category, robberies, has seen a decrease this year compared to 2020. So far 2021 has seen 803 robberies compared to 897 last year.
Regardless of the numbers, everyone agrees the public has to play a bigger role stopping the violence.
“What we need to do is work together and collaborate,” said Williams. “If you are allowing them to perpetrate violence in the city and you’re not saying something, you are an equal part of the problem.”
“It’s a much broader problem than a police problem. We need the whole community to come together on it,” said McCartt.