INDIANAPOLIS — For only the third time in history, Indianapolis has surpassed 100 homicides in less than six months to start the year.
The 100th homicide of the year took place in the new jail.
While that number is down compared to the same time a year ago, community leaders know there is a lot more work to be done to reduce the level of violence even further.
Police believe a jail inmate assaulted another inmate leaving 36-year-old Charles Barron Jr. dead Sunday night.
A shooting last week at a hotel on east 21st street led to the death of 46-year-old Elexis Washington several days later.
Those cases marked the 100th and 101st homicides of the year in Indianapolis.
“The crime in our city is not getting better,” said Aaron Williams with the City of Peace Coalition.
Aaron Williams is alarmed because while 101 homicides is obviously fewer than 117 deaths on this date last year, the number of killings remains significantly higher than any year prior to 2020.
“We won’t celebrate any progress we’ve made because we still have lives lost,” said IMPD assistant chief Chris Bailey.
IMPD assistant chief Chris Bailey says the department remains focused on getting illegal guns out of the hands of teens and serious violent felons.
“Every single gun we take out of the hands of someone who is not supposed to have is preventing a violent crime in the future,” said Bailey.
Mayor Hogsett believes an increase in technology for IMPD and added crime intervention workers for the city are also making a difference.
“We still got a lot of work to do. We’re dedicated to getting it done, but things are going in the right direction,” said Hogsett.
Still, although Indy reached homicide 100 in May last year, and while 2022 and 2020 are on a nearly identical pace, from 2016 to 2019 the city didn’t reach homicide 100 until August.
“The community has to say one homicide is too many, but 100 is insane. This is not acceptable,” said Williams.
Both the mayor and assistant chief claim the rise in homicides in a nationwide problem the last couple of years. In fact nearby city’s like Louisville report 77 homicides so far this year, with 59 in Columbus, Ohio.