Murder of a 61-year-old this week in Indy reflects a violent trend of homicides with victims over the age of 60 in 2021

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INDIANAPOLIS – A 61-year-old Indianapolis man dies after spending two weeks in the hospital with gunshot wounds.

The death reflects a deadly trend in 2021.

Police are still investigating what led up to the 61-year-old showing up with fatal gunshot wounds to a fire station on Sherman, but the numbers continue to show that no one is immune to violence this year, regardless of age.

Starting on January 1st, the very first homicide of the year involved a 62-year-old shot to death at an apartment complex on Norcross court.

The death of James Anderson remains unsolved.

The very next day, January 2nd, a 72-year-old was gunned down at his home on Alabama.

Police believe that victim, Russell Peed, was murdered by his nephew.

Those deaths were the first of 14 homicides involving victims 60 or older so far this year. 

That number is a dramatic increase over the last two years. In 2020 there were 5 such cases on the same date and 8 for the entire year. 2019 had three deaths in the same age range on the same date and ended the year with 4 total cases.

Only 4 of this year’s cases have not been solved, while nearly half of the victims were killed by someone they knew. Five of the deaths have been confirmed to involve domestic issues.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate based on age,” said Danyette Smith with Silent No More. “It does not discriminate whether you’re a teen or older.  Domestic violence can happen.”

Danyette Smith with Silent No More insists the COVID pandemic has fueled a spike in domestic-related deaths.

“There has been drastic increase since the pandemic began and we have not seen that change,” said Smith.

In the most recent case this week, police believe Anthony Sterling was shot on July 20th near 35th and Tacoma before being dropped off at the fire station on Sherman.

While investigators haven’t released a motive, police reports show Sterling had been involved in numerous domestic incidents dating back to last year, with the most recent report filed just 5 days before he was shot.

That’s why Danyette encourages everyone, regardless of age, to reach out for help before domestic issues turn deadly.

Smith says unfortunately older victims tend to be more reluctant to reach out for help.

“We want to encourage the community that there is help and resources out here. Do not stop at the first resource, if they are full,” said Smith.

The numbers this year are impacted by the mass shooting at the FedEx ground facility because three of the victims killed there were over the age of 60, and those deaths are obviously not domestic-related.

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