INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been a violent week at a handful of Indianapolis parks, and as the weekend gets underway, some local families say it is concerning places meant for adults and kids to enjoy the outdoors have been ridden in gunfire lately.
Gunfire filled popular spots like Riverside Park a few times this week. Some Indianapolis families say that will not stop them from coming out during this upcoming warm and sunny weekend, but it has certainly been something top of mind.
Running around or climbing all over the playground are the things any parent can enjoy watching their kid do at the park. And that’s how it should always be, but parents like Kevin Beasley said they know that is not always the case.
“When you want it to be a safe space, you don’t typically want to have to go out and deal with unsavory characters or individuals that are engaging in illegal activities or things of that nature,” Beasley said as he watched his kids at Riverside Park.
Just this week, two separate incidents happened back-to-back. A teen was injured in a shooting at Riverside Park Monday night. More than 40 rounds were fired at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Tuesday night in the Kennedy neighborhood.
Thankfully, nobody was injured during the MLK park shootout, but a home was damaged in the crossfire.
“I do wish that people would stop the violence,” said Riverside Park visitor Meme Thomas. “But unfortunately there is nothing we can do. You know, all you can do is try and tell people to do right and live right and care about the kiddos. That’s all I can say.
Park visitors may notice a few extra eyes in the sky this weekend. IMPD has placed mobile cameras in a few spots.
“Hopefully this will be a deterrent having one of the cameras out here again as we go into our summer months,” said IMPD Public Information Officer William Young. “And hopefully this will deter crime.”
Kevin Beasley says he still plans to be out all summer long with the kids, but he has a message for anyone turning these parks into anything other than a safe space.
“Be considerate of others,” he said. “Think of your children. When you take your children to a place like that you want it to be a safe place. You never know. Bullets don’t have names on them. So things of that nature, so just be very considerate of other people.”
IMPD said it will work with park rangers all summer long to prioritize guest safety.
After Monday and Tuesday’s shooting, FOX59/CBS4 reached out to Indy Parks and Rec. The department says it is looking into placing additional security cameras in MLK and Riverside Park.