INDIANAPOLIS — Police are investigating a deadly shooting at a troubled apartment building on Indy’s east side.
According to IMPD, officers responded to a report of a person shot on E. Washington Street.
Just before sunrise, a man was found shot to death in a hallway of the Irvington Arms apartments. He was later identified as Deandre Halbert, 35.
“A family is going to wake up today and realize a family member is lost. It’s devastating. It’s tragic,” said IMPD officer Samone Burris.
The shooting took place just steps away from a Catholic school whose leaders have pressed the city to clean up the property.
While the homicide remains unsolved, starting in May of last year, IMPD said administrators at the adjacent Our Lady of Lourdes school notified them of safety hazards posed by people at the apartment building.
Police and neighbors agree the building has been a hot spot for crime and public safety nuisance for more than a year.
“We know they have opened that location for recovering addicts. Sometimes it has worked. Often times it has not,” said IMPD East District Commander Richard Riddle.
Over the last 18 months, police records show dozens of reports where police served proactive warrants. Officers also investigated shots fired, arson, drug dealing and, just this past weekend, a dog shot to death.
“We’ve asked every investigative unit to look at that location. Unfortunately, we had a homicide which makes it look like we haven’t been doing anything, but we’ve been doing a lot of proactive police activity at that location,” said Riddle.
“We don’t stand for this in Irvington. Slum lords can’t just come through and not take care of the things they buy,” said Lauren Hall Bushman.
Lauren, who works as the director of a nonprofit in the neighborhood, believes the issues at Irvington Arms are a result of gross negligence by the out-of-state owner.
While a new company recently took over management of the property, broken windows and trash remain a common sight.
Lauren created a petition with hundreds of signatures, which she hopes to present at a court hearing next month, to force the owner to clean up or sell.
In the meantime, multiple people who live in the building confirm all the residents were recently given a 10-day notice to vacate the property.
“This is a reflection of a greedy slum lord who took advantage of people living in poverty and didn’t take care of them,” said Hall Bushman.
So far no arrests have been made as a result of the death.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective Ryan Clark at the IMPD Homicide Office at (317) 327-3475 or by e-mail at Ryan.Clark@indy.gov.
Our Lady of Lourdes temporarily went on lockdown around 9 a.m. while a SWAT team did a final sweep of the apartment building.
Several parents of students at Lourdes reached out to FOX59, saying something needs to be done about the troubled apartment complex.
Dating back to 2014, FOX59 found 110 police reports connected to the apartment complex, however, Tuesday morning’s incident seems to be the first homicide. The reports were for other issues like domestic disturbances, trespassing, and animal incidents.