INDIANAPOLIS – A 15-year-old is dead following an accidental shooting on Indy’s east side.
The death marks the city’s first homicide of 2023.
Police said the shooting appears to be unintentional, but can still serve as a safety lesson for everyone.
Around 2:45 Monday afternoon, a teenager showed up at Community East Hospital with a gunshot wound.
As his condition worsened, 15-year-old James Martin was moved to Methodist Hospital where he passed away.
Police claim the shooting happened at a home on West Arlington Court and appeared to stem from a tragic accident.
“Yeah, this is a tragic situation. A 15-year-old lost his life. The person of interest is cooperating,” said IMPD officer Danny Reed.
Police questioned the person responsible for the shooting on Arlington, but wouldn’t explain how the shooting took place.
“Safety is not something that happens by accident. It’s something you have to work on 24 hours a day,” said Tim Tomich with Tim’s Shooting Academy.
Tim Tomich, a firearms safety instructor in Westfield, believes nearly all accidental shootings are avoidable.
“To be safe with a firearm you have to follow three simple guidelines. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot and always keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it,” said Tomich.
Coincidently, the first homicide of 2020 also involved a 15-year-old victim shot to death on Priscilla Avenue.
“It’s never been easier for kids to have access to firearms,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.
Speaking just hours before the deadly shooting Monday on Arlington, Mears said gun violence involving teens continues to be all too common.
“Kids all across this city, all across this state, have relative ease in terms of acquiring handguns,” said Mears.
Mears will now have to decide whether or not to file criminal charges following Martin’s death.
“Gun safety is very important, but the bigger picture is this is a tragic situation. A kid lost his life and the family is dealing with a lot,” said officer Reed.
Police said the person of interest who was initially detained was released from custody pending a review by the prosecutor’s office.
If anyone has any information regarding this case they want to share, they can call the IMPD Homicide office at (317) 327-3475 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (317) 262-TIPS.