Indy family in mourning on Thanksgiving after 24-year-old father-to-be is shot to death
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indianapolis family is spending their Thanksgiving in mourning after a 24-year-old father-to-be was gunned down overnight.
The deadly shooting took place near 42nd and Mitthoeffer on the city’s northeast side.
The death keeps the city on pace to break the record for the most murders in a single year.
Just before midnight, gunfire at an apartment complex left one man wounded and another dead.
“Right now I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, like it’s not real, but it’s real,” said the victim’s aunt Tina Bradley.
“It’s most definitely senseless,” said the victim’s mother Gayla Whitsey.
Family members confirm Jamontez Woods died on the scene. The 24-year-old enjoyed being a sharp dresser and helping his family.
“He’d cook. He learned how to cook and clean. He’d take care of his brothers and sisters,” said Bradley.
Woods never had a criminal record and was due to be a father in February with the birth of a little girl, a child that will never know her dad.
“It hurts a lot. It’s unreal,” said Bradley.
Woods’ death marks the 144th criminal homicide in Indianapolis this year. That number matches the year-end total of 144 from 2015 and is just 5 shy of the all-time record of 149 murders set in 2016.
“When you’re in November and we’re at 144 homicides, it’s just unbelievable,” said Rev. Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis 10 Point Coalition.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed on Indy’s east side.
Rev. Harrison again called on the mayor to re-invest in grass roots crime fighting efforts.
“We’ve got to get the mayor to sit down with everybody and they have to listen to us on the streets. This can’t be top down. It has to be a bottom up approach,” said Harrison.
In the meantime, Woods’ family will spend their Thanksgiving wishing for an end to the city’s constant violence.
“Somebody needs to do something about it. It needs to stop,” said Bradley. “It don’t make sense at all, taking innocent people’s lives for no reason when they aint’ done nothing to you.”
No arrests have been made in either of Wednesday’s homicides. Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.
Woods’ family set up a GoFundMe account at gofundme.com/dre-whitsey