INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis set a new record for homicides for the second year in a row in 2021. However, some neighborhoods felt the impact of violence more than others.
271 people lost their lives to homicides in 2021 across Indianapolis, an increase from 245 homicides in 2020. Of the homicides, 249 were intentional in 2021 compared to 214 in 2020.
Of the homicides in 2021, the vast majority were shooting deaths. 240 people lost their lives due to a shooting in 2021. In addition, there were 762 people who were wounded in a shooting in 2021. In comparison, there were 219 people that lost their lives to a shooting in 2020, with an additional 714 people wounded in a shooting.
Of all of Indianapolis’ neighborhoods, the Far Eastside and Near Eastside felt the most impact of violence in 2021. 32 people lost their lives to homicide in the Far Eastside neighborhood while 25 people lost their lives in the Near Eastside neighborhood.
A full map of where homicides took place in Indianapolis can be found below:
Homicides in Marion County were not just confined to Indianapolis. Cumberland, Lawrence, and Speedway all saw homicides in 2021, along with 2 homicides that took place on the interstate.
- Beech Grove – 0 homicides
- Cumberland – 2 homicides
- Interstate – 2 homicides
- Lawrence – 5 homicides
- Southport – 0 homicides
- Speedway – 1 homicide
In 2022, Indianapolis is hoping to address violence by adding hundreds of public safety cameras and license plate readers in high-crime areas, as well as implementing a pilot program for a gunshot detection system. Still, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor says technology alone won’t save lives.
“Yeah, technology will help us get to places quicker and might identify people who commit violence and get them off the streets, but I’d rather you decide not to pull triggers and pull knives,” said Taylor.
The city is also investing in hiring 35 new peacemakers to lead Indianapolis’ grassroots gun violence reduction efforts over the next three years. These people work to prevent violence at different levels:
- Interrupters work to stop a conflict that has the potential to turn deadly immediately before or while a crime is happening, including retaliatory violence.
- Outreach workers assess whether an individuals’ risk factors—including employment status, age, education level, and prior criminal justice involvement—require more intense, personalized support.
- Those individuals are then referred to life coaches, who work with clients up to 18 months to develop a “Life Plan” away from violent crime.
The city’s violence reduction plan emphasizes law enforcement investments and addresses the root causes of violence. The plan is funded in part by $150 million in American Rescue Plan funds.