Indy’s 2018 homicide numbers outpacing 2017’s record totals

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Three men are dead following a violent weekend in Indianapolis.

A deadly shooting on Union Street marked the city’s 39th and most recent homicide. Unfortunately, this year's crime numbers are not off to an encouraging start.

The weekend violence began Friday night on North Bancroft. Police say a family disturbance ended with 27-year-old David Sparks Jr. shot and killed. Police quickly arrested the victim's stepfather Leonard Booker for the murder.

The next day at an apartment complex near 71st and Michigan, 25-year-old Octavio Martinez Gonzalez died following a shooting. No arrests have been made in that case.

Hours later on Saturday on Union Street, a third man was shot to death inside a home. Police took a woman in for questioning and said the case appears to be domestic related.

The three deaths bring the total number of homicides to 39 this year in Indianapolis. That's compared to 33 at the same time last year. The police chief calls those numbers frustrating.

"It's frustration more than anything else. The men and women of the police department are working hard. We're starting to get the community involved, but we’re all concerned," said IMPD chief Bryan Roach.

The number of criminal homicides is also higher this year compared to 2017, with a count of 36 to 25. Last year Indianapolis set a record for murders.

Still, because two of the weekend deaths appear to involve family issues, police say it’s extremely hard to prevent those sorts of crimes.

"Having a policeman out and about I don’t think stops that," said Roach.

Last December, Mayor Joe Hogsett took responsibility for the record homicide numbers and called for a crackdown on illegal guns this year.

The mayor also promised expanded beat patrols and the hiring of neighborhood peacemakers, but so far, those changes have not brought down the number of people being killed.

"We’re on the edge of having all the tools in the toolbox to fight crime in this city, so it’s frustrating to see where the numbers are at," said Roach.

The case on Union Street remains under investigation. Police have not determined whether the shooting was criminal or not.

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