Double murder demonstrates ongoing problem with homicides on Indy’s east side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indianapolis police continue to investigate the shooting deaths of two men on the near east side. The recent violence continues a deadly trend in that area this year.

The recent homicides happened early Friday morning in a neighborhood near 10th and Rural.

Police say two men were found dead in the 900 block of N. Oxford. One victim was found inside a car.  The other was lying in the road.  Both victims had been shot.

They were identified as Kendall Howell, 26, and Kevin Sargent, 48.

Investigators believe the shooting may have taken place just a few blocks away at 12thand Oxford.

“We can’t find any shell casings down here (9th and Oxford) to indicate a gun battle or any shots fired so we are taking that (12th and Oxford) as a possible crime scene for the scene here,” said IMPD Sgt. Frank Wooten.

Police found a handgun under one of the victims, but the cause of the shooting remains unclear.

Neighbors say drugs, poverty and violence is nothing new in the area.

“A lot of people here don’t have money and they’re upset,” said neighbor Lamont Stewart.

“The east side, we have been taking a beating,” said Rev. Malachi Walker with Young Men Inc.

On a map of the city there are clear clusters near two east side focus areas at 34th and Keystone and 10th and Rural.

A closer look at focus areas on the west side, like 34th and Illinois reveals zero murders this year.

There has only been one killing in the area of at 10th and Tibbs.

Rev. Walker says it’s time for community leaders on the east side to learn lessons from their counterparts on the west side.

“We want to see a decrease in homicides.  We don’t want this in our backyard.  So help us to understand what you guys are doing so we can do the same things,” said Walker.

For their part, the IMPD says they’re moving away from tracking crime in just the six focus areas and expanding into 19 different beats.

Before Friday, 20 of the city’s 62 murders were inside the beat areas, making up 32 percent of the yearly total.

A majority of those deaths occurred on the east side.

“If you live on the east side, we need to come together because we’re seeing an increase in homicides and it’s not decreasing like we want it and it’s getting worse,” said Walker.

Right now, police have not released any information about possible suspects in Friday’s double shooting.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers.

 

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