INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When Louisa Pineda hears gunshots, she usually calls the cops.
On Sunday night, she heard something that sounded like gunfire. “My eyes are always open here in Fountain Square,” Pineda said.
The sound of gunfire has become too common around Pineda’s house and crime has become common around Indianapolis. News 8 on Monday asked Mayor Joe Hogsett if the city was in crisis, and he didn’t hesitate with an answer.
“Well, it’s been a bad start of the year,” he said.
On Wednesday night, four young people were murdered in a shooting at an apartment.
On Monday morning, police found the body of Robert Buskirk, 38, in a Fountain Square neighborhood is a shooting later in the day ruled a homicide.
“It is the beginning of a year. I hope the patterns change. I’m confident that they will,” the mayor said.
In 2019, the city experienced a small drop in overall homicides numbers over the previous year. This year, the murder rate is taking a much different trajectory. The man tasked with carrying the crime-fighting mantle is Randal Taylor, chief of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
“I hate to use the word ‘crisis’ but I let people judge for themselves. It is way too many. If you want to call it a ‘crisis,’ I’m willing to go with that. One is too many,” the police chief said.
Taylor has been a cop for more than 30 years. He has worked his way through the ranks and into the middle of a spike in violent crime. Taylor says the number of victims has decreased, but the number of incidents has increased.
“But there is something about this mentality in this … to take people’s lives or at least harm people … that has got me the most concerned and I think the rest of the community is concerned as well,” Taylor said.