INDIANAPOLIS — Two women are dead and a teenage boy is in the hospital following a home invasion on Indy’s near east side.
According to IMPD, three people were reported shot around 4:20 a.m. on Brookside Parkway S. Drive near Gale Street. The address is across the street from Brookside Park.
IMPD officers on patrol heard gunshots and within minutes responded to the home.
Police believe the shooting started after the suspects forced their way in the back door of the home.
“I just can’t believe this happened,” said the victim’s aunt Toni Poteet. “Several families are devastated by this incident.”
Toni Poteet says her family lives in the home.
Police confirm one woman was fatally shot downstairs. A second woman died after being shot upstairs and a teenage boy was critically wounded.
The coroner’s office identified the deceased as 33-year-old Jessica Nicole Cruz and 18-year-old Jersie Castner.
“There’s nothing that anybody could do that is worth taking someone’s life. This violence has to stop,” said Poteet.
While the motive for the violence remains unclear, police insisted overnight they’re confident the victims were specifically targeted.
“Detectives here at the scene do not believe that this was a random act,” said IMPD Sgt. Genae Cook.
In the daylight the front window of the home was visibly shattered by gunfire which police think came from outside.
“This is ridiculous,” said neighbor Sherey Jackson. “You’re not even safe in your own home anymore.”
Multiple neighbors say they’re frustrated because police reports confirm shots have been fired at the same home on three previous occasions, as far back as 2019 and as recently as last October.
“This is senseless. This is not a battleground. This is a neighborhood,” said Jackson.
Several children were inside the home at the time of the deadly shooting. Fortunately those kids all escaped unharmed.
Police did not have any detailed suspect information to release and no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective Connie Pearson at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or e-mail him at Connie.Pearson@indy.gov
Alternatively, they can call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317.262.8477 or (TIPS) to remain anonymous.