INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Braxton Ford, 21, was one of four people shot to death Wednesday night at the Carriage House East Apartments on the city’s northeast side.
His father, Albert Ford, was gunned down five days before Christmas 2017 at the same apartment complex, his sister told News 8.
The elder Ford’s shooting death marked the city’s 151st homicide in 2017, a year of record-setting deadly violence in Indianapolis.
The homicide rate surged the following year and dipped by only seven killings in 2019.
The total number of citywide shootings in 2019 — including non-deadly incidents — hit a new record of more than 550.
The death tolls and shooting counts reflect only a fraction of the lives shattered by violence. City agencies do not track the number of relatives, friends and community members affected by each homicide.
“I still can’t believe it; I can’t believe she’s gone,” said Dawn McDade.
Her niece, 21-year-old Kimari Hunt, was the only female victim in Wednesday’s mass killing.
The FBI has no official definition for “mass shooting” but defines a “mass killing” as an incident in which three or more people, not including the suspect, are killed.
Hunt was found dead beside her boyfriend, 20-year-old Marcel Wills; and his cousins, Ford and 19-year-old Jalen Roberts.
Authorities had not confirmed a motive or released suspect information Friday night.
The four young adults’ unsolved shooting deaths prompted new calls for collaborative, community-informed action to address violent crime.
Their families “are experiencing a shock and a loss that no one should have to bear; and that too many in our community have experienced,” the Indianapolis branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said Thursday in an emailed statement to News 8.
“We send our condolences to the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, extended family and friends who are mourning today,” NAACP leaders said. “We also stand ready to work with the city, the faith community, our schools and other community organizations to solve the problems that lead to violence.”
Hours before the quadruple homicide, the City-County Council’s public safety committee voted along party lines to reject a Republican-backed proposal to establish a public safety study commission analyzing the city’s response to local violence.
Committee leaders called instead for data-driven solutions targeting crime in each council district.
Paul Annee, a southside representative and the council’s minority whip, slammed the partisan vote in an interview Thursday with News 8.
“[Violent crime] is a bipartisan issue affecting far too many of the people of the city of Indianapolis,” he said. “Far too many of our fellow citizens have gone through this.”
For McDade and other relatives, Hunt’s death isn’t remotely political; it’s simply tragic.
“She was gorgeous,” she told News 8. “And [somebody] took her away from us.”
Anybody with information relevant to the investigation is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.