6 counts of murder, no death penalty in case against 17-year-old suspect in Adams Street homicides

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INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced six murder charges have been filed against the suspect in the deadly shooting that killed six people, on Adams Street early Sunday morning.

The 17-year-old suspect has been identified as Raymond Childs III.

Childs III is facing six counts of murder, including one for the death of an unborn child, as well as one count of attempted murder and a weapons charge.

Even though the suspect is underage, the case was filed directly into adult court.

Booking photo of Raymond Childs, III

Childs is accused of killing his family members 42-year-old Kezzie Childs, 42-year-old Raymond Childs, 18-year-old Elijah Childs, 13-year-old Rita Childs, 19-year-old Kiara Hawkins, and Baby Boy Hawkins, the unborn child of Kiara Hawkins.

According to court records, the key witness to the horrific violence appears to be the suspect’s younger brother.

Running out of his own home on Adams over the weekend, prosecutors believe a 15-year-old boy begged his own brother to spare his life.

According to the affidavit, the victim pleaded with his older sibling, “I can give you forty dollars, please don’t kill me.”

Despite being shot in the leg and arm, the 15-year-old survived and told police his older brother was responsible for shooting his family.

“It’s horrible.  That’s your initial reaction, but then you think what can we do to help,” said Marion County prosecutor Ryan Mears.

The surviving teen recalled hearing his sister yell, “Raymond shot Elijiah!” He also told police he heard another gunshot before his father said, “I’m sorry, Raymond. I love you.”

After hearing shots fired in the house, Childs’ brother escaped through a side door. He said Childs chased him down and shot him in the leg and arm. The 15-year-old brother believes Childs intended to shoot him in the head but missed.

Prosecutor Mears claims the violence appears to have started after the suspect got mad at his father, who told the teen he was going to be in trouble for leaving home without permission the night before.

That motive allegedly led Childs to grab two guns and kill his parents, Raymond and Kezzie, two siblings Elijah and Rita, as well as the pregnant girlfriend of one of his brothers, Kiera Hawkins, and her unborn child.

“There’s never going to be a reason to justify what happened.  There’s nothing anyone can say to explain the loss of six lives,” said Mears.

Police found a 9-millimeter handgun and casings inside the home. Investigators also believe the teen used a Draco firearm that was recovered later.

Police spoke with Childs’ girlfriend, who said he’d been at her house on the night of the shooting and had gotten a call from his father telling him to come home. He later came back with two bags of clothes and told her his father had kicked him out, she told police.

The girlfriend then saw neighborhood app alerts about a shooting on 36th Street and another shooting on Adams Street. Childs denied having knowledge of either shooting, according to court documents.

Later in the morning, the girlfriend went with Childs to Adams Street. She described him as nervous at the scene; at one point he began crying and “acted a clown,” according to court documents. The girlfriend said she “had never seen him like this before.”

Police found Childs at a relative’s home. He was taken to the homicide office before being arrested, police said.

A growing display of teddy bears and balloons now adorns the front porch of home.  

IMPD police chief Randal Taylor wrote he’s grateful for the murder charges and added, “In the wake of this tragedy, we are continuing to reach out to local neighborhood leaders to support the collective healing of the community and build stronger partnerships focused on preventing future violence.”

“We’ve lost enough.  Enough families have experienced enough pain over issues that don’t need to be settled with guns,” said Mears.

Because the suspect is 17-years-old, prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty.

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