ANDERSON, Ind. — New video shows a massive Juneteenth gathering in Anderson where two separate shootouts left five people shot and one of them dead.
Both shootings happened in the area of 16th and Madison Avenue early Sunday morning. The video shows a woman dancing on the hood of a police car in the middle of a large crowd.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said when he drove by the gathering, Anderson police were struggling to control the crowd he estimated at more than 500 people.
“Honestly you could’ve brought the whole police department in and they would’ve been out manned,” Cummings said.
Cummings said all together more than 50 shots were fired. At least one of the bullets killed 24-year-old Landon Hill and has left another man fighting for his life.
“It’s killing me that he’s not walking in my door like he usually do,” Hill’s grandmother Annie Lee Grayson said.
Grayson said she believes Hill was targeted because of a dispute from years ago. She wants anyone who knows anything to come forward and talk to police.
“Even though it was Landon it could’ve been one of y’all’s,” Grayson said. “The violence doesn’t stop anywhere.”
Grayson said she’d like to see people put the guns down and stop trying to kill one another.
“Hug your kids every day and tell them you love them because you don’t never know,” Grayson said.
Anderson Police Chief Michael Lee said investigators have made significant progress in the investigation and all the parties involved have been identified and most of them interviewed.
Lee said he hopes to close the case soon.
Hill’s killing is the second homicide in Anderson is less than three weeks.
Earlier this month, Cummings said 26-year-old Kiara McCullough was hit by a stray bullet from a shootout while she was driving. She crashed her car and died two days later.
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic,” Prosecutor Cummings said. “It’s an absolute epidemic.”
Cummings blames backed-up courts and rotating doors at jails for the increase in crime. He added that people’s behavior and how much value they put on the sanctity of life is what needs to change.
“I’ve been involved in law-enforcement for over 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this, I’ve never seen this kind of behavior,” Cummings said. “I’m fearful, I really am. I’m fearful of where this is headed.”
Chief Lee said his department is addressing the recent uptick in violence.
“Additional uniform patrols in conjunction with investigative efforts and community outreach will continue through the foreseeable future,” Chief Lee said in a statement.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Anderson Police Department at (765) 648-6746 or Crime Stoppers at (765) 349-8310.