‘We have to take ownership on how we behave’: As homicide record rises, Indy pastor asks community to take action

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS — Four people were murdered in Indianapolis over the weekend. Two of them were teenagers.

As of this date, Indianapolis’ homicide total stands at 258: 13 more than 2020’s year-end total and 25 more than a year ago on this date.

On Dec. 13, 2019, the city’s homicide total was 166, meaning Indianapolis’ homicide record has climbed more than fifty percent in just two years.

Even though Mayor Joe Hogsett has pledged $45 million in anti-violence spending over the next three years, one pastor who participated in a recent violence ceasefire weekend said it’s unrealistic to expect the city to solve problems that originate in homes all across Indianapolis.

“To put that responsibility on him I think is not fair,” said Pastor Antonio Lipscomb of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Indianapolis. “The mayor and any other political position can only do so much because they’re politicians. They have a lot of responsibility besides this problem. They don’t live in my neighborhood.

“I would not look to a mayor to solve problems that our elders are responsible for. The people who live in this community, we have to take ownership on how we behave and how we respond to what we do.”

During the Halloween weekend six weeks ago, a three-day citywide ceasefire lasted 49 hours and convinced organizers they need to redouble their efforts to bring peace to the streets.

“As we look to cease the fire, we need to do more than walk the streets,” said Lipscomb, who participated in the late October observance. “It’s time for action.”

The organizer of the October ceasefire, Della Brown, told FOX59 News that she is planning another weekend ceasefire from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.

Lipscomb said he has proposed beefing up IMPD’s chaplaincy program to assign more clergy members to work with homicide detectives to reach out to both victims and the community in the wake of killings.

“We have to work with the family to set up funeral arrangements, be able to do prayer vigils and some level of counseling as they grieve their loved ones who have been lost. On the other hand, we sometimes have to visit with the individuals who have pulled the trigger.”

Curtis Wright, Jr., 18, was shot to death early Saturday morning on West 62nd Street near Zionsville Road.

Original IMPD reports name four teenagers as suspects in that killing.

Tianna Williams, 17, was killed at the Woodhaven Park Apartments the night before.

So far this year, 42 Indianapolis homicide victims were under the age of 20.

Nine teenagers have been arrested for murder by IMPD homicide detectives in 2021.

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