Mayor walks neighborhood after uptick in nonfatal shootings

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An uptick in nonfatal shootings prompted the city’s mayor, police chief, and Director of Violence Reduction to walk around a near northside neighborhood Wednesday, listening to locals and seeking feedback near 25th Street and Dr. Andrew J. Brown Avenue.  

Across the city, police have recorded 213 nondeadly shootings so far this year — up from 188 at this time last year. 

Mayor Joe Hogsett said the neighborhood he walked through Wednesday is experiencing a “small uptick” in non-deadly shootings. Chief Brian Roach said he does not know why. 

“I wish I had an answer to that,” Roach said. “But, as the mayor explained, there’s a lot of conflict resolution issues. People just don’t seem to understand how to control their anger or their emotions.”

The uptick is sending paramedics to crime scenes across the city. 

Monday morning, police found a man shot on the 20th floor of a downtown hotel. Officers said he was not cooperating with detectives. 

Tuesday, a witness at the Echo Ridge Apartments told police a fight led to a man being shot twice in the legs

Medics took a 19-year-old to the hospital Tuesday night after he showed up at a fire station with a gunshot wound

“What used to be disagreements between 21-, 22- and 23-year-olds, now you’re seeing people in their late teens that are frequently involved in some kind of violence,” Hogsett said. 

Carla Baxter, who grew up in the neighborhood where the mayor and chief walked Wednesday, works at a community center for kids in the area. She said the Chaney Micro Learning Center wants to help Hogsett. 

“If you’re looking for partners to come to the table, people who are committed not just in word but in deed, we’re available,” Baxter said. 

The mayor announced plans this month to target people 17 and older who are under juvenile probation and have a history with guns

City leaders plan to use grant money to connect the young people with counseling and job training. 

Shonna Majors, the city’s new violence reduction director, is now interviewing “Peacemakers” — people who will work in neighborhoods to try to steer people away from crime. 

“You don’t need a gun to solve the problem,” Majors said. “That’s a permanent solution that you can’t take back.”