INDIANAPOLIS — For the third year in a row, October proved to be the deadliest month of the year in Indianapolis.
IMPD reports they investigated 31 homicides in 31 days.
Police and community leaders admit they’re not sure exactly why the last three Octobers have seen a spike in violence.
Driving her two kids to a subway on 38th street for help last Friday, a mother told police her son and daughter had been shot during a domestic argument with the daughter’s boyfriend at the Hawthrorne Apartments.
According to the affidavit, witnesses told police Raymond Gilder was wounded when he exchanged gunfire with his girlfriend’s brother. Police arrested Gilder for murder after Randall Shields III died in the hospital.
That killing was one of many incidents that made October the deadliest month of 2022.
“We’re all frustrated. The community is frustrated,” said IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey.
Bailey said the spike in October homicides is hard to explain because the Crime Gun Intelligence Center has already seized more guns this year compared to last year and the city has invested millions of dollars in crime-fighting technology.
“Why October? I still can’t tell you why this month seems to be a problem,” said Bailey.
“I can’t put a finger on why it’s bad in October,” said Reverend David Greene with the Concerned Clergy.
Reverend Greene also can’t explain the rise in violence in October for the third consecutive year. With 31 homicides in October 2020 and another 34 deaths in 2021, October was the deadliest month of the year in each of the last two years.
Aside from the last three Octobers, the only other month in the history of the city with 30 or more homicides was July 2021 when there were 33 homicides.
“It just speaks to the fact that we have not resolved the violence issue,” said Greene.
Both Greene and Bailey agree the community needs to play a bigger role in preventing that violence.
“All of us have to be rowing the boat in the same direction,” said Greene.
“We need help from the community. The community has to reform itself and stop solving issues with a gun,” said Bailey. “You have to work with us if we’re going to solve this. The police department is not going to solve this alone.”
So far IMPD has investigated 196 homicides in 2022. That is down compared to 235 homicides on the same date in 2021. Still, that puts 2022 on pace to easily pass 200 homicides for the year for only the third time in history, following 2020 and 2021.
As for Gilder’s case, he told police he didn’t know who fired the fatal shots and denied pulling the trigger on Friday.