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18-year-old man shot, killed after argument over broken table at house party

UPDATE: Indianapolis police identified the victim on Friday as Anthony Mills, 18. He died from gunshot, said a 2020 homicide list from IMPD.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Early Monday morning, a fatal shooting killed one person and injured four others after a fight broke out during a party in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood on the north side.

A family member told News 8 that Anthony Mills was killed in the shooting at a home in the 3800 block of Graceland Avenue.

The timing of this incident comes just days before the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood was going to hit a milestone in their fight against violence.

“I am just hearing bullets like ‘phew, phew, phew’ go past me and hitting the trees and stuff,” said the cousin of Mills.

The cousin was at the party with Mills but asked that we conceal his identity.

Mills and his cousin had heard about the party happening on Graceland Avenue on Facebook.

“Graceland don’t get shot up, nothing happens so we thought, ‘oh, all right,’” Mills’ cousin said.

Butler-Tarkington was just days away from completing four out of the last five years without a criminal homicide.

Mills’ cousin said that someone had broken a table at the party, an argument started, and people began to pull out their guns.

“That is when the shooting just started happening so I am like physically trying to get under somebody’s car because I am trying not to get hit because bullets don’t stop for nobody,” Mills’ cousin said.

He said he could see Mills running down the street.

“My cousin, he was like trying to hit the corner, and the bullet just hit him in his back, but it must have hit him through his lung or something. He like collapsed and died,” Mills’ cousin said.

An area that has worked so hard for change will have to start from scratch.

The Rev. Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, a crime-fighting group, said, “Now the neighborhood is stuck with having to pick up the pieces of what happened this morning.”

The house where the early Sunday shooting occurred had been rented over recent weekends for parties, the Ten Point Coalition said in a Tweet. However, an Airbnb spokesman said in a statement Monday night to News 8 that the house was not one of its rentals.

Harrison says that part of the reason the violence has gotten so out of control is the lack of accountability. “Right now, the problem is that nobody is really going to jail. We are not holding anybody accountable. We have got this code of silence out here where people are not talking.”

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department reported six shootings between Saturday morning and Sunday night, one of them fatal.

Harrison is confident that people at the party know who fired the bullets that killed Mills. “If people think that they can shoot someone and kill someone and get away with it, then they are going to keep shooting people and keep killing people.”

In fact, another shooting happened Monday afternoon just blocks east. IMPD said just after 1 p.m. Monday that officers were at the scene of a person shot at East 38th Street and Central Avenue. The victim was stable, police said, but they did not provide any additional information.

Until witnesses and victims start to come forward, Harrison says, Indianapolis will continue its violent spiral. “There is no neighborhood that is safe. If it happened in Butler-Tarkington, it can happen anywhere, and everybody in this city needs to be alarmed by that.”

Police said witnesses are talking to investigators and cooperating with police, but they ask anyone who saw or heard anything near the crime scene to still come forward or call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

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