INDIANAPOLIS — Police are investigating a triple shooting in the vicinity of a southside Indianapolis restaurant that left one man dead and two people wounded early Sunday morning.
Investigators with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said they think the shooting stemmed from a disturbance in the banquet hall on the second floor of Pollo Los Reyes in 2800 block of Madison Avenue during what was advertised on social media at an 18+ party until 3 a.m.
One man was found shot to death in a car across the street from the restaurant and an hour later two people walked into Eskenazi Hospital with gunshot wounds, IMPD said. He has been identified as Jamear Owens, 19.
One neighbor on South East Street behind the restaurant described what he heard and saw.
“I heard what I thought was fireworks. Pop pop pop pop pop pop. Then pop pop pop pop pop,” Mike Laurenzo said. “I looked out my door and I seen to the left six young kids hiding in front of my car, ducking down from the police, and I told them: ‘It’s not a good thing, you need to leave here’.”
Laurenzo said he saw police take one youth into custody in his front yard and second juvenile nearby on Beech Street.
The restaurant was also the site of the city’s first killing of 2022 at 3:15 a.m. on New Year’s Day when Genaro Dominguez-Hipolito, 35, was stabbed to death in what is still listed as an unsolved homicide.
Longtime neighbors, who spoke anonymously out of what they said was fear of retaliation, said the restaurant and the junkyard out back have been a problem for more than two years.
“It is essentially a chop shop. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week dismantling cars. Typically parties, all types of different ages. Fireworks, shooting, loud music. Essentially a free for all,” one neighbor said. “We have been working with the city for over two-and-a-half years bringing it to their attention multiple times. There have been multiple police reports filed and just recently we were made aware that there might be some action taken, essentially just closing it down.”
The Metropolitan Development Commission recently entered into a settlement with Jalos Restaurant Inc., the owner of the property, to remove all inoperable vehicles from the lot that faces South East Street by May 11.
“The ground is a mess, it’s a sinkhole. I would like to see it all closed down, cleaned up and perhaps a nice business go in there,” a neighbor said. “It’s diminishing the property value. I mean, would you want to live in this neighborhood right now? I certainly wouldn’t. I probably couldn’t sell this house right now if I wanted to.”
A representative told our reporter Sunday that a restaurant management was not available to answer questions.
IMPD investigators said they will contact State Excise Police to determine the status of the restaurant’s liquor license to determine if violations occurred during the party that led to the shootings.