INDIANAPOLIS — For the second weekend in a row, Indianapolis police are investigating a shooting in the Broad Ripple area.
On Sunday, police said four people were hurt after a disturbance led to shots fired along Broad Ripple Avenue and Guilford Avenue. The shooting came a week after police responded to the same location when two others were shot and injured.
“To see what’s going around, I’m not really happy about it,” said Sonia Reynoso.
Reynoso co-owns Dad’s Kitchen with her husband, which they opened about two years ago, at the corner of Guilford Avenue.
“I thought I was going to be another asset to bring something to Broad Ripple, but now the way things are coming, it’s kind of declined for me,” she said.
Two months ago, Reynoso’s business was hit in a shooting. The bullet holes can still be seen along the pole that sits inches away from the doorstep.
The concerns of violence have impacted Reynoso’s plans to expand some of her services to the community.
“We were planning to open late nights just to provide food for the neighborhoods and the bars, so they can have some food,” she said, “but unfortunately, we won’t be able to do that because we’re concerned about our safety.”
Reynoso said she and her husband are considering other changes, like possibly moving their business elsewhere or closing early, if the violence continues.
“We have a lot of good neighbors and great bars and restaurants in that space who are greatly affected by this,” said Jordan Dillon, executive director of the Broad Ripple Village Association.
Dillon said the stretch of Broad Ripple and Guilford Avenue, even back towards Westfield Boulevard, are some of the common areas where they’re seeing issues. On Friday, Dillon said she did a walk-along with police and councilor John Barth from 11 p.m. to 4 Saturday morning.
While there was no violence encountered during the walk-along, Dillon said Broad Ripple’s unique entertainment district space attracts different crowds, as well as people loitering, which they’re seeing more of.
“They can come hang out on the streets, bring their own alcohol, drink in the parking lots, which we’re working with our parking auditors to mitigate,” she said. “And whenever conflict arises, it seems to be that they have little resources to resolve conflict in a healthy manner, and that’s where it results in some of this gun violence that we’re seeing, predominantly on the weekends.”
Broad Ripple and Guilford, the scene of the recent shootings, are lined with local bars and restaurants, which Dillon said have been target for assumptions as some think the establishments are the issue.
“I hate that their names are often dragged into some of the conversation when they’re doing everything that they can to try to mitigate this,” she said. “If you look at all of the incidents that have occurred, none of them have happened in a bar.”
FOX59 reached out to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to find out the amount of calls within a one-mile radius of the Broad Ripple and Guilford area but were referred to a public records request, which we submitted and are waiting for results.
Meanwhile, as BRVA is a smaller organization and mainly runs on volunteers, Dillon said staffing, funding and other resources are limited. Though BRVA has a working relationship with area police, she said more needs to come from local leaders and government to address the issues.
“We are not unique in this problem. We are just a unique area, unique neighborhood, who is experiencing these issues, and it becomes more high profile,” Dillon said. “Our city, our city government, honestly our state government, needs to be looking at these issues as a whole and coming up with solutions for everybody so that our city, our state, our village can be safe places for everybody.”
“The laws and the legislature are currently what they are, and honestly, they don’t allow for us to create a safe community for Broad Ripple and for many other places in Indianapolis,” Dillon added.
FOX59 also reached out to councilor Keith Potts, who represents the Broad Ripple area. While he was not available for an interview, he sent the following statement:
It is devastating to hear the news of a violent crime in Broad Ripple. Every time. During my late-night walk-alongs with law enforcement and community leaders, and in recent meetings with local business owners, the feedback and conclusion are one and the same: the violence must stop.
As a member of our city’s legislative body, I have played a role in allocating funding to programs aimed at reducing community violence, as well as increased funds for IMPD (though IMPD has significant recruiting work to do as they are still more than 125 officers short of their 2022 staffing budget).
There is sadly no policy or legislation that will stop a bad actor from grabbing a gun in a given moment, especially as state legislation has made guns more easily available and prohibits cities and counties from establishing their own policies. There is no single solution to this – there is no elected official, no officer, no media report, nor any individual citizen that will be able to stop gun violence overnight.
It requires a community, an entire city, that will come together to say emphatically, enough is enough. And I remain hopeful that those brighter days are still ahead.Councilor Keith Potts, District 2