INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Four people were killed in a shooting on the city’s northeast side Wednesday night.
The shooting happened just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 4100 block of Shady Oak Drive in an apartment near East 42nd Street and Mitthoeffer Road.
“I heard gunshots. It was like plenty of gunshots,” Melvionna Matthews said.
She said she heard 20-30 gunshots. “It was loud. It was real loud. It sounded like it was close over here.”
According to police, officers were called on reports of a person shot. When they arrived, they found four people dead. The victims appear to have died as a result of gunshots, according to Chris Bailey, assistant chief of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Three men and one woman were pronounced dead at the scene. The Marion County Coroner’s Office has identified the victims as Marcel Wills, 20; Braxton Ford, 21; Kimari Hunt, 21; and Jalen Roberts, 19.
On Thursday, News 8 noticed broken and shattered glass on the back patio of the apartment as well as what appeared to be a bullet hole in what was left of the shattered glass sliding door.
Police do not have suspect information at this time, but said there is no active threat to the community.
Bailey said, “Obviously, this is a tragedy for our community, one that we’ve seen played over and over again.”
Craig McCartt, IMPD deputy chief of investigations, said, “We can tell you we do not believe this was a random incident. We believe this was definitely a target incident.”
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said investigators don’t know the motive. “There’s answers out there. There’s people who know. Our detectives are dedicated to finding the people responsible for this. I know they’ll work hard.”
Taylor urged the person or people responsible to come forward.
“I would always prefer that you own up to it. Turn yourself in. Let us take you through the process as opposed to committing more crimes,” he said.
Rick Snyder, Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police president, spoke to media Wednesday night at the scene of the shooting. He continued a plea for change in the wake of violence throughout the city. “For many months now, we have been sounding the alarms about the outrageous violence that is occurring in our community that continues to surge on top of record levels and tonight is an absolute tragic reminder of that.”
The deadly shooting came just hours after the Indianapolis City-County Council’s safety and criminal justice committee voted down a proposal aimed at reviewing the status of the city’s long and short-term response to crime.
A prayer vigil Thursday afternoon outside the apartment building drew the IMPD chief and officers, community activists and members of the Violence Reduction Team with the Office of Health and Public Safety. Many of them shared condolences for families of the four victims. The Violence Reduction Team had knocked on doors to make sure neighbors were mentally OK before the vigil.
Shonna Majors, director of Community Violence Reduction for Indianapolis, said people in the neighborhood told her that shootings happen far too often.
The Rev. Charles Harrison with Indy Ten Point Coalition told News 8 he believes more resources need to be put into the community to help change young people’s circumstances and stop senseless acts of violence.
“A lot of young people are carrying guns because other people have guns. They feel like they needed to protect themselves. They may get involved in drug trafficking because, for some of them, it’s about survival on the street. When you’re poor and you don’t know whether or not you’re going to get a meal that day and your siblings, you might do things that you normally wouldn’t have done if your circumstances were different,” Harrison said.
News 8 spoke with Jaquan Pillsbury, 19, who said he played football with two of the victims. “It’s sad to see young people like my age going through gun violence losing their lives early. No one wants to bury their kids. I’m really sad about it.”
While IMPD is still gathering information, it is clear that last night our city experienced a tragedy, fueled by senseless violence. As Indianapolis awoke this morning with prayerful mourning for the families of these victims, our public safety community, and the loss of four young lives, it is my hope that we can turn this sadness and reflection into a community call to action.
That’s because despite significant investments in policing and neighborhood anti-violence initiatives in recent years, time and time again we are confronted with the ripple effects created by a proliferation of guns, drugs, and poverty in our neighborhoods.
I share the frustrations and anger of so many this morning, but I remain confident that our path toward peace will require open hearts, not clenched fists. Let us resolve that these mindless acts are unconscionable but not unstoppable, and come together as one city to pursue the changes in hearts, minds, and policies that will make our community safer for all.Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett
IMPD Chief Taylor also put out a statement about the deadly shooting:
We are heartbroken by this senseless act of violence, a tragedy that impacts our entire community. We pray for the four young lives taken too soon, and for all who knew them,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “We remain committed to holding accountable those responsible for this unacceptable act. We know there are answers out there, and there are people who know what happened. We implore anyone with information to reach out to an officer or call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana anonymously at 317-262-TIPS.Randal Taylor, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department chief
You can hear more statements from police in the Facebook Live video below, or click here.