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Indianapolis Community reacts to string of weekend gun violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A string of gun violence over the weekend left at least 22 people shot in 17 separate incidents since Friday afternoon.

That is in addition to shots fired incidents where police did not find any victims. One of the most recent victims was a 12-year-old boy who was shot at a house party.

Community advocate and President of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, Rev. Charles Harrison, has long spoken out about gun violence in the city. He said the amount of youth with access to guns is a problem in Indianapolis.

“These young people tend to resolve their problems with violence and that’s very concerning. What used to be arguments and disputes that people had, the worst that we used to do was fight,” Harrison said. “Now they’re not fighting, they’re using guns to solve these disputes.”

Police said the 12-year-old injured in the overnight shooting was at a house party at a short-term rental.

Zoe Ferguson said she could see and hear the gunfire from her bedroom. Her car was damaged by the bullets.

“15 years and this is the first shooting that’s ever happened in this neighborhood, and this is something that never happens over here,” Ferguson said.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous,” said Charles Spivey, another neighbor to the shooting. “It seems like any time a bunch of young people get together now, that’s the solution. Somebody gets shot.”

Harrison said this is not an issue the city can solve alone. He believes a community-wide solution is needed.

“Parents have to be more involved with who our kids are hanging with, whether or not our children may possess guns, and setting boundaries for our children,” Harrison said. “We can’t just let our children run the streets all hours of the nighttime.”

IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey released a statement on Twitter Saturday.

Mayoral candidate Jefferson Shreve released a statement Sunday.

“I share in the mayor’s grief over these lost lives, but how much more violence does Mayor Hogsett need to witness before taking action? In response to the violent weekend, Hogsett tweeted a statement saying he ‘shares in the anger of our community.’ That is not enough. I urge the mayor to be more than just angry – I urge him to act.

After nearly eight years in office, Mayor Hogsett still has not put forth a plan to combat crime and restore our city that is achievable within his authority. Blaming others won’t fix the problem. The mayor must stop making meaningless statements on Twitter and start taking meaningful action to stop crime. 

I again urge Mayor Hogsett to hire a public safety director as a straightforward first step. Right now, no one is accountable across all the agencies of city government for our public safety – except Joe Hogsett. The mayor campaigned on a promise to act as his own public safety director. He has kept his promise – and this weekend’s violence is more proof he has failed to deliver. Enough is enough. We don’t have to live like this.” 

Jefferson Shreeve (R) Indianapolis Mayoral Candidate

Mayor Joe Hogsett released a statement Saturday.

“Last night, gun violence harmed several people across Indianapolis, including multiple children who sustained injuries in separate accidental shootings. 

Yet their true cause was no accident. I share the anger of our community in the proliferation and reckless use of firearms in Indianapolis, and pledge to continue fighting for common-sense gun safety measures to protect our most vulnerable.”

Mayor Joe Hogsett (D) Indianapolis

This string of gun violence comes after Mayor Joe Hogsett proposed gun safety measures last month. They will go in front of the Indianapolis Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee next week. If adopted by the full council, those new gun ordinances would only be enforceable if the statewide law pre-empting local governments from creating gun regulations was overturned.

Editors note: An earlier version of this story reported 21 people shot in 16 incidents and did not count a self-inflicted shooting on Friday. Police did not provide any additional information.