MARION COUNTY, Ind. — Five people were shot over the weekend in Indianapolis. A 52-year-old man was one of those shooting victims. He was killed in a home invasion robbery.
“It makes me feel troubled,” said Kingsley Terrace Church of Christ, Assistant Minister Robert Young.
Local pastors are addressing violence in the Circle City. The same violence that sometimes lingers near their church.
“Unfortunately, we had a murder that took place right next to our services on one Sunday night,” said Senior Minister Stanley Hubbard.
The most recent shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Officers found two people shot on Cecil Avenue near East Washington Street after an argument. Then they found a third person who police say was a bystander shot at a Marathon Gas Station on Keystone Avenue, two blocks from Kingsley Terrace Church of Christ.
“Our concern is for the community itself...The first thing is we need to be aware that maybe the biggest issue is not the murder count but the shooting count that gives us insight to the number of folks being injured,” said Hubbard.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), there have been 122 homicides this year. At this same time last year there were 132 homicides.
After midnight Saturday, 52-year-old Michael Zdenek, unfortunately, became a part of those numbers. Police say he was shot multiple times during a robbery at his home in the 700 block of Edgemont Avenue. On Sunday family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil.
“They took my best friend away from me. I will forever miss my father, I forever love my father,” said Jacob Zdenek.
After their father was shot, they say their mother was held at gunpoint as the shooter demanded money. There are at least 20 surveillance cameras around the home, but the family says the shooter left with all the evidence.
“Something is wrong with this community when somebody like Mike can be hurt, and there was no reason, no reason... whatever they wanted we would’ve given to them. They didn’t have to do what they did,” said Promise Land Christian Community Church Pastor Richard Willoughby.
Family and friends say Zdenek was someone who everyone loved and you could tell based on the kind words said at the vigil.
"Just the other day he said he would die for me, and nobody deserves to die," said his wife Midge Zdenek.
Hubbard says the violence calls for anger reduction before you can get people to put the guns down.
“Because of these dynamics we actually host an aggression replacement training program which teaches people how to respond to their anger,” said Hubbard.
It’s an eight to 10 week program that is focused on helping you learn how to deal with anger. It’s free and available to anyone. Hubbard believes this is one step in the right direction.
Anyone with information in Zdenek’s death is asked to contact police or call CRIME STOPPERS of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).