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Family member says suspect in Adams Street killings is son of 1 of 6 victims

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 17-year-old boy arrested Monday in what’s being called the city’s largest mass casualty shooting in more than a decade is the son of one of the adult victims.

A family member on Monday night told News 8’s Sierra Hignite that the boy is the son of Raymond Childs Jr. and the stepson of Kezzie Childs, though Kezzie always called him her son because she raised him as one of her own.

Raymond Childs Jr. and Kezzie Childs, both 42, were found shot dead along with Rita Childs, 13; Elijah Childs, 19; and Kiara Hawkins, 19, who was pregnant with Elijah’s son, according to a source.

According to a person close to the family, an argument in the family home on Adams Street, near 34th Street and Sherman Drive, may have led to the shooting.

Police arrived at that scene around 4:45 a.m. Sunday after finding a teenage boy with gunshot wounds walking along 36th Street, just a couple blocks away. He was one of the sons of Raymond Childs Jr. and Kezzie Childs and led police to the home, a source told News 8. That boy was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

Police on Monday night had not confirmed the circumstances leading up to the killings, the identity of the suspect or what charges he is expected to face but said they believe he acted alone.

“We have to make sure we protect the juvenile’s rights, the suspect in this case. And we are protecting witnesses as well until their part of the process,” said Deputy Chief Chris Bailey of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The probable cause documents are expected to be released later this week.

News 8 spoked to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office; they expect the suspect will be charged as an adult. 

Neighbors reacted to the shooting on Monday.

“Just please stop the violence,” said Anastasia Ditman, a friend of the family who spoke to reporters outside the house before taking a stuffed animal to the front porch.  

“I know that everyone in the city right now is, like, wondering what is going on, why is this happening, especially in the middle of a pandemic, it is very devastating that we have to wake up to something like this in the morning,” said Ditman. 

On Monday morning, a handful of people were removing some personal items from the house. Those people all declined to talk to News 8. The crime scene tape had been removed from the home, but the neighborhood is left with many unanswered questions.   

Norvel Terry is a longtime east side community activist. He once lived in this neighborhood and had to come by the house to see for himself what happened.   

“Look how close these houses are together and ain’t nobody seen nothing? Are you serious?” said Terry.

A GoFundMe account has been created for the Childs family members.

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