Mayor Hogsett, community leaders react to new Indianapolis homicide record

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INDIANAPOLIS — Just over nine months into the year Indianapolis has already set a new homicide record. So far 180 deaths this year have been ruled homicides.

At the corner of 30th and Keystone, an IMPD officer on patrol found 22-year-old Daniel Baxter shot dead inside a car Thursday night.

An apartment fire in July, which resulted in the death of 11-year-old Jeremiah Vinson was also ruled a homicide this week, because investigators now believe the boy’s mother intentionally set the fire to kill herself and her son.

Those two cases pushed the city one past the previous all-time homicide record of 179.

Just over 283 days into the year, that means the city averaged one homicide every 36 to 37 hours. That puts the city on pace for 233 total homicides.

It’s a number community leaders agree is just unacceptable.

“Look it’s been a rough year for Indianapolis. It’s been a rough year for our country. 2021 can’t get here soon enough,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

Mayor Hogsett admits no one really knows why this year has seen a drastic spike in homicides, but noted other large cities like Louisville and Memphis have already broken their homicide records this year as well.

“Indianapolis is not alone in that regard. Most every major urban area in the country is experiencing an uptick in homicides,” said Hogsett.

“We cannot ignore the local trend. It’s been six years in a row where these numbers have been at a record pace, so we can’t as a city blame the national trend. We were already trending up,” said reverend Charles Harrison with Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.

Reverend Harrison wishes more resources would be given to community groups to help reverse the trend of rising homicide numbers that actually dates back several years.

“The City has to take their hands off this a little bit, because their hands are too heavy and they’re not letting local groups do what we can to bring the violence down,” said Harrison.

“What we intend to do is double down on expanding our officers into community beat oriented policing,” said Hogsett.

Because a majority of this year’s homicides remain unsolved, anyone with information on any unsolved case can still contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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