Neighbors, pastor outraged by west side violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Neighbors are voicing their concerns after a string of violent crimes swept through the west side this week.

Desiree Watkins watched as police scoured her neighbor’s house. They were investigating the shooting that woke her Wednesday morning.

“I hit the floor, of course, then I checked to make sure everyone was okay,” Watkins said of her response to the gunshots.

One person was arrested and another taken to the hospital from the 1800 block of Harding Street.

Earlier that morning, a mile and a half away, a separate shooting happened near Riverside Drive and Udell Street. The victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The shootings happened in the same area where police found four people shot and killed in a home Tuesday.

“It’s ridiculous,” Watkins said of the recent crimes. “The four people that died, I didn’t even know those people and I was in tears and frustrated all day yesterday.”

Watkins says she’s sick of the recent neighborhood crime. So sick that she wants to move. Not just out of the west side, out of Indianapolis entirely.

Her neighbor Jamie Hopkins disagrees. She says the 1800 block of Harding Street is safe.

“Everyone knows everyone. Everyone looks after everyone. It’s a pretty decent area,” Hopkins said.

But Reverend Charles Harrison says the neighborhood isn’t safe enough. He says his anti-violence coalition is considering putting a stronger focus on the west side. In the meantime, he’s organizing an anti-violence rally for Sunday.

“We’ve got to get people to talk. We’ve got to get people to get involved. And we’ve got to get people that are willing to pass on information to the police so that we can get bad people off the streets,” Harrison said.

The rally will start at Pilgrim Baptist Church on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.