INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A series of shootings in Indianapolis on Monday left nearly a half dozen people recovering from gunshot wounds.
That type of crime is a daily problem in Indy; nearly half-way through the year, the number of non-fatal shootings continues to surpass last year’s totals. On the 20th floor of the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown early Monday, police say a man told security he had been shot, but refused to say why.
Later that morning, witnesses claim an angry customer shot an employee outside a small auto repair shop.
In the afternoon, two teenage girls were wounded during a robbery and shooting behind an abandoned home.
Hours later, a 21-year-old reported being shot at an apartment complex on the southeast side.
All five victims survived, increasing the total of non-fatal shootings this year to 212. Last year at the same time, the city saw 188 such crimes.
“We’ve got a big problem here,” said Rev. Malachi Walker with Young Men, Inc.
Rev. Walker, who oversees a youth mentoring program which has drawn praise from city leaders including the police chief, believes the shooting numbers show too many people simply don’t know how to resolve conflicts without gunfire.
“Everybody thinks that a gun is the way to handle confrontations nowadays,” said Walker.
In fact, this year’s numbers are also not an isolated problem. In 2017, the IMPD investigated 454 non-fatal shootings with another 463 in 2016 and 473 in 2015.
Rev. Walker doesn’t think those stats will change any time soon, because there are simply too many guns in the hands of teenagers and criminals.
“I mean it’s just crazy how easy it is to obtain guns,” said Walker. “It’s a serious issue. We have to be mindful of that.”
Police say this year they have cleared 75 of their homicides, but solving non-fatal shootings is hard because in many cases police say the victims simply refuse to cooperate.