INDIANAPOLIS — A disagreement along the Canal Walk in downtown Indy ended with four people shot overnight.

It happened about 12:20 a.m. when IMPD officers on bike patrol heard several shots fired off in the area of W. St. Clair Street. Police found four female shooting victims of the following ages: 17, 18, 23, and 24.

According to IMPD’s Nightwatch Commander, Major Kerry Buckner, two groups of people were on opposite sides of the canal when they had “some sort of disagreement” and began shooting at each other from both sides of the water.

“It is warming up and it’s obvious that people cannot control themselves on a warm night in Indianapolis. The canal used to be a real nice place to come down and bring your family and walk at night, not anymore,” said Buckner.

Surveillance photo released by IMPD

Buckner said the shooting happened at the Orange Bridge near the Colts Canal Playspace, around the same area where a woman was killed in 2020.

“We had a murder and a shooting here at this exact same spot at the Colts Park which closes at dark. The Colts donated that equipment for the children and the people in the city, and some people can’t control themselves. Can’t behave. It’s a pitiful thing,” commented Buckner.

All of the injuries are said to be non-life-threatening.

“I mean it’s disappointing. It’s disappointing we had two groups with a pre-existing beef who came to the canal and endangered everyone else’s life,” said IMPD deputy chief Kendale Adams.

Deputy Chief Adams said IMPD officers on patrol overnight were the first to respond after hearing the shots.

“We had officers on the canal in overtime detail because we understand the importance of the safety of the canal and downtown,” said Adams.

The Department of Metropolitan Development has provided funds for those IMPD officers to work overtime on the canal between 10 o’clock at night to 5 o’clock in the morning.

“You know I’m just furious at what’s going on right now and I’m not seeing anything change,” said City-County Councilman Michael Paul Hart.

Hart said the shooting, in such a high profile place, is proof once again that police can’t stop violence without the public’s help.

“We really have to get people involved. The thing I’ve learned is communication is one and neighbors acting is two,” said Hart.

Some people who stayed at the scene were taken in for questioning, although Buckner said not all witnesses are cooperating in the investigation.

Police said at least one gun turned over at the scene was sent to their crime lab.

The city put in a security camera system in 2021 to monitor the canal. Police said the cameras recorded the overnight shooting. 

Despite the violence, IMPD’s downtown commander insists the canal remains a safe place.

“We just hope people that see this will come down with their families, which we encourage. Unfortunately, we had some people come down and do things they shouldn’t do,” said IMPD commander Phil Burton.

Police ask anyone with information about the shooting or who may recognize the individuals in the released surveillance photo to contact Detect Ronald Clayton at Ronald.Clayton@indy.gov or call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

NOTE: Initial reports from police indicated there were five victims in the Canal Walk shooting. They released an update saying four people were hurt in the incident. A fifth person found nearby was hurt by an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound in connection with the shooting.