INDIANAPOLIS — Police are investigating a shooting that left a 12-year-old girl injured on Indy’s far east side.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the shooting occurred Sunday around 8:10 p.m. in the 600 block of Belhaven Place at an apartment complex near Washington Square Mall.
Police said officers arrived at the scene and found a girl suffering from a gunshot wound to her neck. She was transported by Indianapolis EMS to an area hospital, where she is currently listed as stable.
A preliminary investigation revealed the girl was inside her apartment when she was struck by a bullet fired from outside.
“Any person shot is a tragedy but it’s even worse with a child,” said IMPD Captain Don Weilhammer. “Most officers have a child, or have a relative who has a child, so it affects them even more.”
Weilhammer continued, “It’s definitely a tragedy and one of the things that we would stress is solving things by violence with guns is definitely not the answer and unfortunately in this particular case, we have an innocent victim that ended up getting injured.”
As of Sunday night, there have been at least 51 juveniles injured in shootings across Indianapolis since the start of 2021, according to data obtained by FOX59. In addition to those injured, IMPD’s year-to-date homicide report shows there have also been at least seven juveniles killed in shootings.
It’s not clear what led up to Sunday’s shooting, however, a neighbor tells FOX59 he was walking back from the grocery store and turned the corner to walk over to his building when he heard gunfire.
“I heard the gunshots so I went back, ran and got behind the building where, if the bullets did come that way, they wouldn’t hit me,” said the man, who wished to remain anonymous. “I wasn’t able to see who was actually doing the shooting, so I kind of wish I was able to help out that way but I wasn’t able to see it because I was concerned of not being in the crossfire.”
The man, who said he is a father of five, told FOX59 the apartment complex was busy at the time the shooting happened.
“It was and a lot of children. Toddlers, not even school-aged children,” he shared. “Whoever did it had no regard for the public safety of anyone.”
He said fear for what happened tonight is why he doesn’t allow his young children to play outside in the complex.
“It makes me want to cry. I feel bad for the family, just very fortunate that she’s still here and hopefully we can save her life and get her some medical attention immediately,” the neighbor added. “I just want to see whoever did this off the streets so they can’t do it to nobody else’s family.”
On scene Sunday night, IMPD told FOX59 there was no immediate threat to the public.
“The scene is secure and there’s no ongoing threat at this point in time and so nobody needs to worry here around the area,” said Weilhammer.
No arrests have been announced.
IMPD is asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact Detective Justin Gray at IMPD’s Homicide Branch at 317-327-3475. You can also call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477) if you wish to remain anonymous.
“We cannot do it without the public’s help,” Weilhammer said. “With the public’s help, we have more of a chance to solve this.”