INDIANAPOLIS — Police are investigating after a woman was fatally stabbed in downtown Indianapolis.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the stabbing occurred just after 5 p.m. in the 300 block of N. Meridian Street, not far from the Indiana War Memorial. Officers were initially called to the scene for a report of a disturbance and when they arrived, found a woman suffering from stab wounds.
Officers rendered aid to the woman — later identified as 24-year-old Taylor George — until EMS arrived and transported her to the hospital, where she died from her injuries not long after she arrived.
Investigators on scene were working to determine what led up to the stabbing and canvassing the area for witnesses, while the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency responded to identify and collect potential forensic evidence.
According to IMPD, officers were already in the area when the call came out and quickly arrived at the scene. There had not been any arrests announced or suspect descriptions released as of Thursday night.
IMPD Public Information Officer William Young said it’s important anyone with information shares it with investigators, so they can work to hold those responsible accountable.
“This is a heavily traveled area, lots of people come out and walk their dogs, lots of people run the stairs here, so we’re hoping someone saw something, but unfortunately someone lost their life,” said Young.
Thursday’s deadly stabbing was the city’s 82nd homicide in 2022, according to police. In many of the cases where an arrest has been made, police said the help of people in the community providing information to investigators has been invaluable.
“I believe that community members are taking a stand saying, hey we’re tired of gun violence or violence period where it’s resulting in people losing their lives,” said Young. “Our homicide investigators, they work extremely, extremely hard to work with the families of the victims, but again, it’s a mere fact of conflict resolution.”
According to police, this is the second stabbing to happen this week at the same park. The first happened Monday night around the same time, when police were called to the area for a report of two people stabbed. IMPD said they later learned only one person was injured.
A police report shows a man suffered injuries to his hand in the incident Monday.
Both incidents took place near where a food distribution for people in need was held at the park on the Vermont Street side. When asked whether the giveaway was related to the deadly stabbing, police were not able to confirm, and said the stabbing and circumstances surrounding it remain under investigation.
“This is the second event that happened this week here in the park,” said Michael Walden.
Walden, who was at the park Thursday night for the feeding, said he didn’t see the stabbing happen but arrived shortly after and spoke with people gathered nearby.
“The witness told me that it was not unrelated to the feeding. In fact, the people involved in this stabbing were actually here for the feeding, so that became very concerning to me,” Walden shared.
Walden said he was shaken up to see what happened and worries about the safety of people coming to receive assistance.
“It’s very unsettling to me because most of the time these feedings are safe and people are fed and they need that but when it becomes a situation where people are arguing and stabbing and stuff, it can’t be tolerated,” he said.
“Occasionally you’ll have a little argument or a dispute, but nothing that rises to a stabbing or a fatality,” said Walden. “It’s very sad. It really is disheartening for the city and for all of us.”
“It’s devastating that someone whose already in a vulnerable position finds themselves as the victim of a violent crime, especially when they’re only trying to get services and be helped,” said Elder Coleman.
Coleman, who serves as the Executive Director for Refuge Place, came to the scene when he heard about what happened. He shared that he knew the victim through his work with homeless neighbors in the community, and was upset to see what occurred.
He added, “We’ve had several incidents over here that just should not take place. I thank god that we don’t have any incidents where we serve, as long as we’ve been serving, you know, giving dignity back to our friends while also working with the city, being able to respond.”
Coleman is involved in meal distribution efforts at a site authorized by the city. He shared that he feels everyone involved these efforts should be willing to comply with the city’s rules when it comes to coordinating a place that is safe, not only food-wise, but for recipients and community members.
“We should never have acts of violence especially against already vulnerable people, and those of us who are providing services, we ought to be more than willing to partner and work with the city and the health department to make sure that our friends who are being served are safe, and the public,” Coleman said.
FOX59 reached out to the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) and city representatives earlier this week after the first incident occurred in the park near the site of the food giveaway. We asked whether the city has a record of who is providing food to the group.
“The incident in question did not occur on a city-monitored site, which have a track record of providing food and resources to our homeless neighbors safely and efficiently,” wrote a spokesperson for the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County.
According to officials, the MCPHD with the Office of Public Health and Safety (OPHS) work with community partners on a safe distribution site to ensure that the process is orderly and regulated. The Department of Food and Consumer Safety developed a category and form to register individuals or groups that are interested in providing safe food to those that are food insecure.
“In addition to ensuring basic food safety, this process allows city agencies to know when and where these gatherings occur, and to react accordingly,” wrote a spokesperson.
Information provided by a spokesperson for the OPHS shows that the city operates only one site, which is held at the Old City Hall. OPHS confirmed that site would be serving at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
“The city has done a very good job at the Office of Public Health and Safety and the Marion County Health Department,” said Coleman. “They’ve created a process that is easy for everyone to be able to come, to serve, to do it in a manner where everyone is safe.”
“If there is a need for law enforcement or medical aid, if someone is having a tough time breathing or a medical emergency, those are the only times that we need to see law enforcement involved where there is a meal,” Coleman said.
The victim’s identity in the deadly stabbing has not been released by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call IMPD Detective David Miller at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475. Additionally, you can also reach out to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, where you will remain anonymous, at (317) 262-TIPS.