INDIANAPOLIS — Three separate overnight shootings in the span of two hours left three men injured across Indianapolis.
In one of those incidents, a trail of damage was left behind, after gunfire hit nearby cars and houses on the street. Neighbors said they’re concerned and hope this serves as a wake up call before an innocent life is lost in the crossfires.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, officers responded to the 2100 block of Ringgold Avenue for a report of shots fired on Tuesday night shortly after 11 p.m. and found a man who had been shot.
The victim was taken to the hospital, where he was last listed in serious, but stable condition.
Police said detectives spoke with witnesses, who told them there was a gunfight in the middle of the street at close range. Initial investigation, including evidence at the scene, led IMPD to believe that the shootout stemmed from an argument over a small amount of marijuana, said Major Kerry Buckner.
“The neighbors came out because there were several cars shot up during this gunfight. Windows were shot, quarter panels and fenders were shot. They were just randomly firing at each other up and down the street,” Buckner said.
The sound of gunfire caught the attention of neighbors, who quickly realized what was going on.
“I heard what I thought were firecrackers, and I was like okay, they’ve been going off in the neighborhood recently, whatever,” said Kyle Fischer, who said he saw the flashing lights soon after and realized it was worse than he thought.
“We just heard quite a few big bangs and looked outside and my dogs went crazy and saw a kid on the ground and I ran outside,” said resident Angela Smith. “We didn’t know if a car hit another car but it ended up being gunshots.”
Smith said another neighbor ran over to help the victim.
“He came over and put his hands on the kid’s stomach to help put pressure on the bleeding and calmed him down. He did ask him questions like ‘do you know who shot you, what’s your name’ and at the same time, he was calling 911. He’s an amazing man,” Smith said.
Both Fischer and Smith said their mind instantly went to the ‘what ifs,’ had a bullet gone through a home and hit an innocent bystander, someone walking outside, or even their own loved ones.
Fischer said, “What if I was walking home at this time and it happened, would I have been accidentally shot? Could I have been in the crossfire?”
IMPD reminds that people shooting in the city’s neighborhoods are putting not only themselves, but others in danger.
“They are putting children in danger, they are putting people in their homes in danger, people just in the community,” said IMPD Officer Samone Burris.
“It takes but a second for someone to be injured, for a life to be taken, especially when gunfire takes place when people are shooting randomly and recklessly within a neighborhood,” Burris added. “They are now at risk because people don’t want to use conflict resolution skills, people want to continue to pickup weapons, want to continue to fire their guns in our streets and that’s not okay and it’s not acceptable.”
Smith said both her car and her husband’s sustained damage due to gunfire. His door is unable to open due to the damage and her car has a shattered window, along with damage to the front and rear passenger doors.
“You can’t just fix the window because the frame is messed up,” said Smith.
Unfortunately, she was told it could take several months to get in an autobody shop due to the demand right now, she said. While she has to go through the process of getting her cars fixed, she said she’s more concerned about the man shot.
“I’m just worried about the kid, too, if he’s okay. I hope he makes it through,” said Smith.
Police remind that no life is worth resorting to violence over and they want people to consider the consequences before an argument escalates.
“A life could be taken within seconds,” said Burris. “When you look at the violence in our neighborhoods, when you look at people committing the violence in our neighborhoods we have to understand that everybody’s life is meaningful to somebody. Everybody deserves to be here, to live out a full life.”
“It’s not worth the heartache, people losing their family members and the community continuing to grieve over the loss of life, when we have all the skills and all the tools necessary to make better choices, and at this point, it is just the community and people that want to take things into their own hands actually considering the lives of other human beings,” said Burris.
Neighbors are joining with IMPD in saying enough is enough and hoping that the community will continue to come together to discuss resolutions to the violence.
“Maybe as a community, actually listen to each other and talk it out and see that not one person is right and the other person is wrong, it’s that we’re all living in this place together,” said Smith. “You don’t think this is going to happen in your neighborhood, but it can happen anywhere. Luckily no one else was hurt. I’m sad that somebody was hurt, though.”
“You always read about the stories like it’s on that street, or it’s on that street. It’s very weird when it’s on your own street and you’re like, oh it can happen anywhere,” said Fischer. “I just hope that this is another wakeup call.”
No arrests have been made in this shooting. IMPD is asking anyone with information to call the Aggravated Assault Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.