INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (December 21, 2015) — It has been one of the deadliest years on record in the city of Indianapolis. As of Monday there were 141 homicides in the city, that’s up almost 7% from last year.
“Indianapolis has to recognize, it’s our problem. These are our neighborhoods, it’s our city,” said David Wantz, Indianapolis Director of Public Safety.
Our city with an ever increasing number of people killed at the hands of violence. To date, 2015 has been one of the bloodiest years on record.
Wantz, in part blamed easy access to guns.
“It is a first resort now to use a firearm rather than a last resort. It used to be perhaps when you were growing up people would settle things with their fists. Nobody would ever think of assaulting a police officer, that’s happening more and more,” he said.
The numbers over the last three years pale in comparison to 2015.
In 2012 there were 94 homicides. In 2013 there were 119. In 2014 there were 132. Overall violence is on the rise as well. IMPD reports there have been 437 non-violent shootings this year, compared to 350 last year.
“Eighty-five percent of the victims have serious violent felonies and 85% of the suspects have serious violent felonies, so these are people who are in the game, and it’s dangerous to be in the game,” said Wantz.
But crimes committed against the innocent this year, stole the spotlight. Amanda Blackburn, 28, was killed during a home invasion in November. Two men were arrested in the mother’s murder.
But other Indy killers remain on the loose. Unsolved cases this year include the killing of 10-year-old Deshaun Swanson, mother of five Tamara Sword, and the brutal March attack that left four dead in a south side home.
“Folks have to understand that this is a long term kind of problem, that they have to do simple things like go out and vote, like go to neighborhood meetings, like do the kinds of crime watch things that have been done for years and years so that this will not creep into your neighborhood,” said Wantz.
Teen involvement in violent crime has risen this year as well. Of 159 homicide suspects, 14 are under the age of 18; that number is up from just eight last year. Of 141 homicide victims, 10 are under 18; that number is down from 13 last year.