INDIANAPOLIS — Tonight IMPD is investigating after a shooting left a person wounded on Indy’s near northeast side near 34th and Keystone.
The violence continues what has been a record-breaking year for non-fatal shootings.
For the second year in a row, IMPD reports there have been more than 700 non-fatal shooting victims in the city.
While on patrol near 34th and Baltimore, just west of Keystone, IMPD officers heard gunshots and quickly located a person wounded just after noon on Thursday.
That victim was stabilized and rushed to the hospital while officers detained one person of interest.
“It’s mind-boggling to see what’s happening,” said Aaron Williams with the City of Peace Coalition.
In fact, Aaron Williams, who helped launch the Peace in the Streets, Stop the Violence initiative admits the non-fatal shooting numbers remain discouraging.
As of last week, there have been 746 victims wounded by shootings this year, involving 661 incidents.
Both those numbers topped last year’s record-breaking totals which included 714 victims and 639 incidents.
“We don’t see an end in sight unless we have better collaboration and more partnerships,” said Williams.
Over the span of 90 minutes Wednesday night, IMPD responded to a trio of non-fatal shootings.
Officers were first called to 2704 Westlane drive around 6:42 p.m. and found a person shot.
Around 7:24 p.m. officers were called to 9448 E. 38th Place and found a person suffering a graze wound.
Police believe a domestic dispute led to a woman being shot near 79th and Zionsville road around 8:17 p.m.
The IMPD commander on scene overnight believes the violence will only stop with greater community engagement.
If you include the homicides with the non-fatal numbers, the city averages one person shot every 8 or 9 hours.
“I mean, I know we go by stats for a year, but I don’t think this is going to stop Jan. 1 if we don’t get people involved in this,” said IMPD commander Kerry Buckner.
“As you go into the New Year think peace, talk peace and promote a life of peaceful living,” said Williams. “If you have a conflict in your family, tell them using a gun is not the way to resolve it.”
For his part, Mayor Joe Hogsett said today he hopes increased investment in public safety will make a difference next year.
According to a release from the mayor’s office:
“When it comes to public safety, infrastructure, and development in the City of Indianapolis, 2021 will be remembered as a year of historic investment,” said Mayor Hogsett. “Thanks to responsible financial management and yet another balanced City-County budget, we are able to leverage federal resources including the American Rescue Plan and launch initiatives like Circle City Forward to fundamentally shape our city’s future—without a tax increase for Indianapolis residents.”
To meet the local impact of the national surge in homicides and non-fatal shootings, Mayor Hogsett announced record-breaking levels of funding to power a multi-pronged violence prevention plan in Indianapolis. Most notable was the direction of $150 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds towards law enforcement and root causes of violence over the next three years, including:
- 100 new IMPD officer positions to expand neighborhood-based beat policing
- $9 million in modern policing technologies, including a gunshot detection pilot, license plate readers, and public safety cameras
- Hiring 50 professional community-based Peacemakers who are trained to assist police in preventing conflicts in situations that the police believe could lead to violence and an increase in annual grants to organizations focused on anti-crime initiatives, from $3 million to $15 million per year
- $30 million for mental health programming, as well as additional resources for job training, food access, and more.
These investments joined a number of significant announcements in 2021, including the expansion of the IMPD Crime Gun Intelligence Center to the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force, which features partnerships with other law enforcement entities throughout Central Indiana to get illegal guns off the street.
Also announced in 2021 was a $1.5 million investment in IMPD technologies to upgrade internal infrastructure, enhance data analysis and introduce an officer intervention system to provide an early warning when officers depart from departmental standards. An additional $1.8 million in community-based programming boosted City efforts around domestic violence reduction, mental health resources, juvenile intervention and staffing levels at the Assessment and Intervention Center.