INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In less than five hours, two Indianapolis teenagers were killed on Wednesday. We’re now learning more about the two victims.
Police say a 19-year-old was shot sitting in his car on 23rd street near Riverside Park.
“We’ve lost a family member for no reason. His life was robbed from him for no reason,” said Kinyuana Barnett.
Kinyuana says her cousin Javon Bertram leaves behind a dozen brothers and sisters.
“I actually saw Javon being born. He is the fourth child of 13,” said Barnett.
Police believe Javon was targeted, but don’t yet know who’s responsible.
Although Kinyuana lived in Indy for more than 30 years, she recently moved to Arizona, while the rest of Javon’s family in Indianapolis were afraid to talk for fear of retaliation.
“It’s hit hard. It hits home. One of the reasons I moved away from Indy was because of the crime,” said Barnett.
Just five hours later, around 11 at night, police say a disagreement ended with a 17-year-old shot near his south side home.
That shooting claimed the life of Oswin Ortiz, a junior at Perry Meridian High School.
Ortiz’s murder marks the 11th homicide victim in Indy this year under the age of 18. That is four more than the seven such cases the city saw in all of 2018.
“It’s crazy because when will it stop? It’s an ongoing, continuous thing and it’s so so painful,” said Barnett.
Later this month, the Indianapolis Foundation is set to award $2.5 million in crime prevention grants to support grassroots organizations working to prevent violence.
In the meantime, the families for both Bertram and Ortiz say the public needs to do their part to save lives.
“It’s up to us as a community step up. If you see something, say something, because it could easily be your family,” said Bertram.
As always, anyone with information on either homicide is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.