INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday night at about 11:30, a woman told police she and a friend were being followed by one, maybe two cars, from a gas station/convenience store at 71st Street and North College Avenue.
Five blocks south, gunfire rang out, and when the woman’s car came to a stop far away on the northside, IMPD officers counted 17 bullet holes in her vehicle.
The man in the car with her told police he had a “weird” feeling while filling the car with gasoline when he saw at least one car circling the parking lot as if the driver was looking for him.
He had been out of prison for just five weeks.
Throughout this summer, IMPD detectives have been to Broad Ripple to investigate a stabbing, a number of robberies and several shootings.
Now, the Broad Ripple Village Association has an on-line survey asking visitors and business owners about what times of day they feel safest in the village, and what type of suggestions might make the retail and entertainment district safer.
“A few weeks ago, a shooting happened. The next weekend after that, like, the area was dead. Like people are scared to come here, so it effects everyone around here,” said Kasmo Altahat at the VIP Smoke Shop on Broad Ripple Avenue. “When people hear shooting or something they won’t come here because they would be scared of shooting, so more crime means less people around here.”
Dominic and Nicole Ledwith were walking Meko and Mela, Alaskan Malamutes wearing their own doggie sunglasses, during lunchtime.
“You hear the stories about violence happening and all of that, it seems to always happen at night. We definitely don’t want to be around that,” said Dominic.
“Before, when I was a kid walking around, it was just a bunch of little shops, and I felt really comfortable walking around here, but my friends and I have a rule of thumb: we don’t stay in Broad Ripple. Once it becomes dark, we go home,” said Nicole. “I’ve never had to do that. I walked around in high school with friends, and we’d have dinner and stuff down here, and we don’t do that anymore.”
Matt Andrews said he’s been coming to the Village for 30 years, but recently the atmosphere of Broad Ripple has changed.
“I would say back in the day it used to have a little bit more artsy vibe, but these days it is a little bit more of your drinking crowd, so there is that,” said Andrews, who suggested shutting down Broad Ripple Avenue to vehicle traffic, as was done in the summer of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We definitely could have this area as a very vibrant commercial area, and I think that bringing pedestrians in here would be a great start to that.”
“It’s a little upsetting,” said Nicloe, “but I do believe that with enough effort, we can get it to where people feel safe walking down here again.”
Click here to take the Broad Ripple Village Association Public Safety Survey.