INDIANAPOLIS — A 16-year-old high school student was found shot to death on Indy’s east side over the weekend.
Police were called to a parking lot along 30th Street just before 10 p.m. Sunday and found the teenager shot. He died after being rushed to the hospital.
“Looking at him on the hospital, it crushed me. I never would have thought in a million years it would happen to my son,” said Michael Duerson Jr.
Duerson Jr. said he spoke to his son, who shares his name of Michael Duerson III, just minutes before the shooting.
“He called me from the area and told me to come and get him. By the time I got there, my son was gone,” said Duerson.
Duerson’s death marks the seventh homicide this year involving a victim under the age of 18. While overall homicides have come down significantly this year compared to last, homicides involving juvenile victims have actually increased.
There were six juvenile homicide victims as of April 10 in 2019. The year finished with 16. In 2020, there were three juvenile homicide victims by this time of the year, with 15 total. There were four juvenile homicide victims as of this date in 2021. Last year finished with 17 such deaths.
“That’s very disturbing, and I’m strongly concerned by that,” said Reverend Malachi Walker.
Reverend Walker, who mentors teenage boys as part of Young Men Inc., believes teaching kids better conflict resolution is the key to saving lives.
“Taking a life or losing your own life is not worth it. There’s other ways to solve conflicts, and one is to turn away from it.”
“That boy was sharp, he was smart, I just don’t understand it, man,” said Duerson Jr.
Duerson Jr. said his son loved to play basketball and football and just got hired for a new job.
For their part, police would not confirm any suspect information or a motive for the shooting.
“I just don’t understand how he got mixed up in some buffoonery, clown stuff. I don’t even know,” said Duerson Jr.
So far, no arrests have been made from the shooting on 30th Street. In fact, all seven juvenile homicides this year remain unsolved.