Mothers of victims speak out after Indy reaches 200 homicides in 2020


INDIANAPOLIS – A deadly shooting on Indy’s near northwest side marked the city’s 200th homicide of the year. That is an all-time record.

Each of those victims, of course, also had families. That means literally thousands of loved ones have been impacted by the violence leaving them with a wide range of emotions.

“It’s been lots of days of sadness and anger and frustration,” said Melissa Jude. “The police and the city leaders need to realize it’s not just 200 people killed. You’re affecting 200 families.”

More than 4 months ago, Melissa Jude’s oldest son Chandler Bussey was shot to death.

“You don’t just grieve your child and move on. It’s still always dealing with the day to day struggles,” said Jude.

“I don’t know how I’ll ever stop missing my daughter,” said Nikki Cope.

Nikki Cope’s 16-year-old daughter Nya was killed by a stray bullet fired into their car near 38th and Arlington in early May.

Nikki says her pain will never heal.

“You know when she’s 20 years old, I won’t know what she would have been like,” said Nikki.  “Sometimes I just wish I was with her you know.”

Nya and Chandler’s deaths are two of the more than 120 homicides this year that remain unsolved. That’s equal to 62 percent of all the killings.

In Chandler’s case, the 20-year-old was murdered near Arsenal Park in mid-June. Melissa believes she knows who killed her son, but the key witness, one of Chandler’s friends, won’t cooperate.

“It really just makes me sick that a friend can let him be dead and move on with life,” said Melissa.

Melissa also wishes the city would add resources to help every family of a homicide victim cope with their loss.

“I feel like there needs to have a crisis response from IMPD and the city to deal with the families emotions,” said Melissa.

“Every day is a new day for me and a new challenge,” said Nikki. “I know other families would love to have answers too because all you think about is who took my child from me? Who took my loved one?”

As a comparison to last year, on this same date, there were 133 homicides.

Anyone with information on any unsolved death is still asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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