Safety leaders weigh in after eight people were shot over the weekend

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By Jillian Deam

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 20, 2014) – Police are investigating after two people were killed and six people were injured in over the weekend.

The shootings happened at six different locations across the city.  This comes after safety leaders recently announced plans to focus on six "hot zones" for crime in the city.  Public safety says the shootings happened in three of those six areas this weekend.

Safety leaders say it’s a reminder that more work needs to be done to get to the root of the violence.

"It's sad, because you think you're making progress, and then we have this outbreak,” Reverend Charles Harrison said.

Harrison was going for a jog Sunday evening around 7:30 p.m. when he heard a chilling sound.

"As I was jogging, I heard two sets of shots,” he said.

Harrison has been working with the anti-violence group Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition to stop violence like this for years.

"We're out there trying to calm street tensions,” he said.

But the shooting Harrison heard on Sunday evening was just one of many shootings that happened over the weekend.

On Friday night, a man was shot in the 9300 block of East 42nd street around 11:30 p.m.  About 30 minutes later, a woman was shot on the near 30th and Keystone Avenue.  Police say she drove herself to a nearby gas station for help.  Then, 40 minutes later, another shooting happened outside of “Riff Raff's,” a bar on English Avenue.

"There were two females involved who were shot.  Investigators told us it was a family dispute,” bar owner Phyllis Borem said.

She says before the shooting, things has been quiet at her bar for years.

“This is a family bar, a neighborhood bar-everyone knows everybody, and it's a shock that something like this would happen,” she said.

The violence continued on Saturday on South East Street at GameStop. Police got a tip about three men robbing the business.

Police say Terrell Lucas, 22, came out of the backdoor waving a gun, and when he refused to put the gun down, officers shot him.  He later died at the hospital.  The two other suspects involved were arrested and charged in connection with the crime.

On Sunday, a woman and man were shot in the 3300 block of Schofield.  Later that night, shots were fired at a duplex on Oxford Street, and a 26-year-old man was killed.

"You never really understand why this weekend was more violent than others. We've tried to put together a reason, but it looks like it’s all separate incidences involving separate people,” Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs said.

"We're going to be looking at criminal backgrounds because we realize most of our homicide suspects and most of our victims have criminal histories – 80% to 90% in most cases," Riggs said.

"We have to look at that and look at the systemic issues that may have lead them to this violence. We’ll be going to the statehouse once again, asking for mandatory minimum sentencing.  We feel like, if we had mandatory minimum sentencing of just 10 years for violent crimes, that 25 of our homicides wouldn't have occurred this year,” Riggs said.

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