Weekend shooting tally hits double digits

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 31, 2016)–Ten people were shot, none were killed, in Indianapolis over the weekend as the first month of 2016 ended the way 2015 wrapped up after a record-setting year for homicide.

So far the city has recorded nine murders in the first month of the new calendar compared to eight a year ago.

The number of non-fatal shootings in Indianapolis jumped to 448 in 2015 as IMPD reported more than half of its aggravated assault victims refused to cooperate with investigators.

Six focus areas, with just five percent of the city’s population, account for a disproportionate amount of crime, according to IMPD Chief Troy Riggs.

“There’s an almost 600% greater likelihood to have a criminal homicide or a 607% greater likelihood to have a non-fatal shooting in these areas than anywhere else in the city of Indianapolis,” Riggs recently told community, not-for-profit and faith based leaders at a meeting to unveil an Indiana University statistical study of crime and its proposed solutions.

“CRIME IN INDIANAPOLIS:  Trends, Sources, and Opportunities for Change” concluded, “Overall, these trends support the perception that violent crimes have worsened recently…”

This past weekend’s tally, which included a suspected fourteen-year-old shooter and some victims who claimed not to know who pulled the trigger, is proof of that finding by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute.

Reverend Malachi Walker need only look out the front window of his church at 33rd Street and Arsenal Avenue and watch crime literally walk down his street in one of IMPD focus areas targeted for additional police enforcement and city services.

“Guns are out there and they are getting in the hands of the wrong people even, our young people are walking around with guns now, and if they don’t have guns, they know where to go and get a gun and they’re committing a lot of these non-fatal shootings,” said Walker whose church is a haven for 70 or more youth during his summer camp programs.

With Reverend Charles Harrison’s decision to refocus Ten Point Coalition crime prevention efforts on the city’s northwest side, Walker said now is the time for the eastside faith based community to fill the void left in its neighborhoods.

“I think it all has to be with prevention and having a proactive approach as opposed to responding on the scene when the incident has already happened,” he said.  “Whether it’s dealing with single moms to empower them or get dads to be empowered to get back home with their children, family development and whatever it may be, and also dealing with re-entry for all of those who are coming out of the prison system.”

Walker said he will convene a meeting of eastside church leaders this week to develop a strategy for addressing the area’s specific crime prevention and family needs in answer to Mayor Joe Hogsett’s call for more community-based solutions.

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