INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Four people have been charged following the murder of four people on the city’s northeast side.
19-year-old Rodreice Anderson, 19-year-old Lasean Watkins, 19-year-old Cameron Banks and 17-year-old Desmond Banks have been charged in the case. Desmond Banks is being charged as an adult. If convicted, Anderson, Watkins and Cameron Banks could possibly face the death penalty.
They are accused of murdering 20-year-old Marcel Wills, 21-year-old Braxton Ford, 21-year-old Kimari Hunt and 19-year-old Jalen Roberts on Feb. 5. All four were graduates of John Marshall Community High School. All four were pronounced dead on the scene.
Anderson faces four counts of murder and four felony counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Watkins, Banks and Banks each face eights counts of murder and four felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.
Online court records don’t list an initial appearance date.
The shooting occurred around 10 p.m. at an apartment in the 4100 block of Shady Oak Drive at Carriage House Apartments. That’s near East 42nd Street and Mitthoeffer Road. One witness said she heard 20-30 gunshots. Police arrived to find a back door patio that had been shot up. Witnesses told police that they saw two people running from the residence. Court documents state that the apartment was “ransacked with drawers pulled out and falling from the dressers.” Family members helped police learn that two guns had been stolen.
Court documents state that the complex has an “extensive surveillance system with a number of cameras.” Detectives reviewed the footage and were able to identify a gold Oldsmobile 88 with a temporary tag as the suspect vehicle. Investigators said the vehicle was registered to Anderson.
In an interview with investigators, Anderson said “the four discussed committing a robbery, as they pulled into the parking lot of the apartments,” according to court documents. Anderson told police his role was as a getaway driver and that one of the suspects “used his phone to contact someone inside the home to purchase ‘weed.'”
Mayor Joe Hogsett has released this statement following the charges:
“I want to applaud the quick action and thoughtful investigatory work of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, as well as the cooperation and collaboration of community members. Today would not be possible without the work of IMPD officers, dedicated to building relationships, creating community dialogue, and utilizing best practices in policing.
While nothing can bring back the four young people whose lives were cut much too short by senseless violence, these charges serve as a meaningful step toward delivering justice to the impacted families.”Mayor Joe Hogsett
The following night, a vigil was held to commemorate the victims.
The case has led to a renewed discussion on violence in Indianapolis.
Some church leaders have said the community needs to step up.
“As a community, to not wait on the city and the mayor and the police department to do it, but we got to do our part. So let’s start doing it now,” said Rev. Charles Harrison, senior pastor at Barnes United Methodist Church.
The Far East Side Community Council and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department offered grief counseling for community members.
Funeral services for Wills and Roberts are set for noon Thursday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. Services for Ford are Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Catholic Church. Hunt’s funeral is 11 a.m. on Feb. 22 at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.