INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Whenever Brenda Hill witnesses a crying mother or grandmother on television at a crime scene, she sees herself in that woman’s eyes.
“Every time I see it I say, ‘I feel that. That’s me,’ is what I say, ‘that’s me five years ago, that’s me,” she said.
It was on April 4, 2013, shortly before Easter, that Hill’s 20-year-old son Reginald was shot to death during what was most likely a marijuana deal turned robbery attempt at the Hunter’s Run Apartments on Georgetown Road.
Another man, Larry Cole, 21, was discovered later with a gunshot wound after he was dropped off in the parking lot of Lafayette Square Mall.
“He got a hole in him, but Reggie’s holes were in the back,” said Hill. “Reggie was going away.”
Even though investigators know who was involved in the killing of Reginald Hall, no one was ever charged.
“They keep saying there’s not enough proof evidence to convict anybody and that’s kind of hard to understand when you had these people down there but you let them get away,” said Reginald Hill Sr.
The details were different but the pain was the same across town this past week as Malaysia Robson’s family stood and shed tears in the front yard outside the home where the toddler was shot to death by someone who sprayed the house with 44 bullets.
Investigators think a pair of brawls at nearby apartment complexes Wednesday night later fueled by social media threats and insults led to the murder of the one-year-old.
“Turn ‘em in! Turn ‘em in!” chanted a crowd as it marched on Wittfield Street Saturday afternoon, claiming, “Enough is enough!” in its response to gun violence.
“I always said, ‘If you know something, say something. It might be two words that you know, a name, an address, where this person hangs out, whatever, but if you know something, say something. The smallest thing might make a world of difference,’” said Brenda Hill.
Hill’s mother knew her son carried a gun and when he was asked why, the young father barely out of his teens answered, “I gotta protect myself.”
Hill never explained to Brenda from whom he needed a gun to be protected.
“At 20, for a young man still got that young mind going on,” she said, recalling that Hill became a father five years earlier. “Even though he was a young boy by having him at that age, 20 is still kind of tough, he’s still in that, ‘I just moved out of my home, I’m making my money, but I’m still with what’s going on out here in this too fast paced world.’”
That world, and, Brenda said, her son’s penchant for flaunting his status in life cost five-year-old Javeon his father.
“Reggie’s one of those that wanted to flash the money that he was making and he has made,” she said, “but you got people who are haters, street code, street word, and I think that people are jealous about what you have and what you doing.”
Javeon is now ten and has heard the story of his father’s life and death before.
He recalls playing basketball with his dad and making noodles for lunch, the memories of another Indianapolis child left fatherless because a too-young-patriarch chose drug dealing and gunplay in the streets as opposed to dedicating his life to a little boy at home.
Javeon’s in the fourth grade, excels at math, and thinks his father would have wanted him to grow up, work hard and be good to people