INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in years, the number of shootings and homicides continues to decrease across Indianapolis.

In the month of March there were a total of 12 homicides in Indianapolis. That is the fewest number of killings in a single month in nearly two years when there were 11 homicides in April 2020.

Still, police and community leaders know there’s more work to be done to keep those numbers down.

In early March, an online clothing sale and robbery led to a murder on Ingram street. “My life will never be the same. I saw this. I tried to save him. I tried to save his life,” said the victim’s fiancée Stephanie.

The man who died on Ingram, Kerwin Pollard, was visiting Indianapolis for the first time with Stephanie. The couple came from Illinois to sell clothing. Pollard left behind twin girls who now have to grow up without their dad. “These girls will now have to visit their father in the cemetery for the rest of their life,” said Stephanie. “It’s senseless and it’s very unfair. It’s more than unfair.”

Picture of Kerwin Pollard and his children

After meeting at a Subway, two men told Pollard they needed to go to Ingram street to get some money. Court records claim after Pollard began showing the suspects clothes, he was shot and his car was stolen. “They could have just robbed us. We didn’t have any guns. We didn’t have any weapons,” said Stephanie.

Pollard’s death is one of 45 homicides this year across Indianapolis. That is down significantly from the 59 killings at the end of March last year, but the violence remains higher than in any recent year before 2020.

“I think this should tell the public to remain optimistic.  Our numbers are trending in the right direction,” said IMPD officer Samone Burris.

IMPD believes its partnership with community groups and the city’s expanded peacemakers program has led to a reduction in violence. “Crime is not just an IMPD issue,’ said Burris. “It takes everyone doing their part and the community working with us. They play a very important role.”

“What I have seen in the last year is an increase in community involvement. There are more grass roots organizations involved,” said reverend Charles Harrison.

Reverend Harrison with the Ten Point Coalition is also encouraged by the reduction in violence this year, but knows it’s a long term fight. “By the end of the year we’re probably still going to be one of the highest in the history of the city, but if we’re going down, that’s a positive sign,” said Harrison.

While prosecutors charged Julius Thomas with Pollard’s death, Stephanie has a message for anyone thinking about hurting someone else.

“Nobody is at liberty to take someone else’s life,” said Stephanie. “It’s senseless and you’ll throw your entire future away over nothing.”

Unfortunately, a majority of this year’s homicide remain unsolved.  Anyone with information on any of those unsolved killing is still asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.