INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gun crimes over 24 hours this past weekend in Indianapolis took the lives of six people, who ranged in age from 17 to 76.
Families of the two youngest victims talked to News 8 about the loved ones they lost.
Balloons filled the sky as tears filled the eyes of the friends and family of Leandre Lane. “Dre” was only 17 when he was shot and killed Sunday afternoon near 34th Street and Franklin Road.
“He was bright, smart, loved to dance, dance good and sing good, too,” said Leandre’s uncle, John Elliott. “He’s going to be missed.”
The teen’s family said Dre was not involved in the kinds of things that might have led to his death.
“He wasn’t in the streets, he wasn’t in a gang. He was in the church praise team, all of that. He got family out here who love him,” said Dre’s cousin, Lonnie Wooden.
Volunteers with the Ten Point Coalition attended the balloon release and vigil and said they know there is still work to be done after a weekend like this.
“It’s devastating, it’s devastating,” said Ten Point volunteer Dacarla Mason.
Not far from where Dre was killed, the family of Ezekiel Summers sat on the porch and talked to News 8 about the 19-year-old, who died late Saturday night in a shooting on Twin Oaks Drive.
“Anything in this world I would give to get him back,” Ezekiel’s girlfriend, Camille Holloway, said through sobs.
His family said “Zeke” was finishing his GED and working. The 19-year-old was also a new father.
“He’s my firstborn. He taught me as well as I taught him,” said Ezekiel’s mom, Tashawnna Summers. “He taught me what it is to love outside of myself; he taught me everything about this life of being a parent.”
Summers told News 8 the story of when Zeke asked her to turn the car around so he could give a homeless man his shoes. She says that story encapsulates the kind of guy he was.
His family says he always tried to do the right thing, even his little brother.
“He was nice, he was sometimes annoying, sometimes, but most of the time, he was nice,” said Ezekiel’s little brother, Zephaniah Randolph. “When you needed something, he gave it to you.”
His friends and family remember a guy who worked hard and was so excited to be a new dad. They all hope this is a wake-up call for the community to do better and not take anything for granted.
“That boy’s an angel right there,” said Zeke’s friend, Winston Pearson. “God gained him a wonderful angel.”