2 men shot in basketball dispute at Indianapolis Jewish center gym
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two men were shot Saturday afternoon during a basketball game at an Indianapolis Jewish center, police say.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was called shortly after 1:50 p.m. Saturday to a report of a person shot at the JCC Indianapolis, 6701 Hoover Road. It’s north of West 64th Street and west of Spring Mill Road on the city’s north side.
The shooting is not believed to have a religious motivation or to be a hate crime, IMPD Lt. Shane Foley said.
The shooting happened in one of the two gymnasiums at the center.
The two men were stable, IMPD says. “At least one citizen provided first aid prior to officers arriving and an IMPD officer applied a tourniquet to one individual,” said a news advisory IMPD issued about 5 p.m. Saturday.
No additional information was provided about the men shot.
Detectives about 3 p.m. were continuing to look for a man who is a suspect. He left the gymnasium after the shooting. IMPD gave no other information on who they are seeking.
“Preliminarily, detectives believe the incident is an isolated incident connected to a disturbance over a basketball game,” the advisory said. “The basketball game was part of open gym time at the facility.”
JCC Indianapolis shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday sent a message its membership. “Police say there is no ongoing threat at the Jewish Community Center, on the Max & Mae Simon Jewish Community Campus or the surrounding area. The Jewish Community Center will be closed for the rest of the day and will reopen at 7 a.m. for normal business hours tomorrow,” part of the message said.
The message also said the man who were shot were taken to Ascension St. Vincent Hospital-Indianapolis.
Anyone with information was asked to call Detective Roberto Sanchez at 317-327-3475 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, people can call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 to remain anonymous.
“’We are saddened, shocked and outraged at the incident that occurred in our facility. The safety and security of JCC members and guests is of utmost importance, and we will continue to review these protocols.’”
Eric Koehler, CEO of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center, on Feb. 27, 2022
“In the aftermath of yesterday’s incident, we want to reassure you that your safety and security is our top priority. We recognize that the JCC is meant to be a safe harbor in the community, and that trust was taken advantage of. To that end, we want to reiterate the measures we have in place to ensure the JCC is a safe, welcoming place for all on a daily basis:
“– Our staff have been trained and tested in responding to any emergency. We have practiced how to react quickly and appropriately.
“– We retain off-duty IMPD officers as on-site security at all times.
“– We work closely with the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis’ Safe Indy security initiative, led by Community Security Director Grant Mendenhall (former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Indianapolis Division), which provides support to all of our community’s Jewish organizations.
“– Grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have allowed us to implement security tools including cameras, planter bollard vehicle barriers and bullet-resistant film on our windows. Even before yesterday’s incident, we have been working with DHS on a grant to reconfigure the Welcome Desk entrance area, which should be in place within the next 12 months.
“We are reviewing our policies around visitor entry, door access and other operations, and will continue to work with Safe Indy and local law enforcement to enhance our security protocols as appropriate. This situation, while unfortunate, is an opportunity for us to take action and reaffirm our commitment to providing a safe place for the Jewish and wider community to gather.
“For those who may need mental or emotional support, Victim Assistance is available through both IMPD and Jewish Family Services, in person or via phone.
“– IMPD Victim Assistance Counselors Heaven Ly Turk and Racheal Crouch may be reached at 317-327-3792 / Heaven.Turk@indy.gov and 317-327-4708 / Racheal.Crouch@indy.gov respectively.
“– Jewish Family Services Executive Director Lori Moss may be reached at 317-259-6824 / email@example.com, and social worker Julie Sondhelm may be reached at 317-536-1476 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Many in the community have asked about how they can help. The best way you can support the JCC is by coming in as a program participant, member and user to help us continue to fulfill our mission of serving the community. If you would like to support the Safe Indy community security program directly, visit jewishindianapolis.org/safeindy.”
“As a community center, the JCC is proud to be a place where people of all ages and faiths can come together for education, health and fitness and arts programming. In this context, the safety and security of our members and visitors remains paramount. We value your presence in our community, and more communication on next steps will be shared in the coming weeks.
“We are grateful for your support, patience and understanding. Thank you.”
Statement from JCC Indianapolis to its members on Feb. 27, 2022