INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In a span of 13 hours, 29 people were shot and killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. These deadly mass shootings are sparking conversations about the next steps in public safety and gun control. With Dayton being less than 150 miles from Indianapolis, many Hoosiers question, “Could it happen in central Indiana?”
“I think it’s something that could easily happen here, and it’s something that you should be prepared for,” said Broad Ripple resident Brandon Manawat.
Manawat says he recently purchased a handgun and applied for a license to carry—part of his reaction to numerous mass shootings in the past year.
Aside from Manawat, others are numb to these deadly massacres.
“Shocked but not shocked. I think something definitely needs to be done in the United States as far as assault rifles. I think the accessibility to guns is too easy,” said Fishers resident Stefanie Pacheco.
Many are asking lawmakers for gun control, but others don’t believe it will help.
“I think it’s just important to make the distinction that any bans, confiscations, any reductions of our rights only prevent you from being able to protect yourself tomorrow. I think any dangers that exist already exist,” said Manawat.
In 2014, seven people were shot on Broad Ripple Avenue. Pacheco remembers it well.
“It’s not the same Broad Ripple it used to be, but I do think they are taking the effort to make sure everyone is safe,” said Pacheco.
Broad Ripple Avenue is an area very similar to Oregon District in terms of size and offerings of entertainment to the community—something that already has city leaders thinking about preparations.
“The active shooter, this scenario where one person with a gun shows up and starts firing at multiple people, that can happen anytime, anywhere. What we do here in Indianapolis is provide the best technology, the best training and frankly the best collaborative effort among IMPD personnel to minimize the risk of that ever occurring,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.
In the meantime, some are taking it upon themselves to stay protected while others remain prepared if the worst is to come.
“You can’t live in fear, but I also feel like you have to be aware of your surroundings,” said Cicero resident Chelsea Pacheco.