INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An arrest has been made in Tuesday night’s deadly shooting outside a popular strip mall on the city’s north side.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday that 25-year-old Jean Eyongegbe has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the shooting that took place on East 82nd Street, just a few blocks east of the Keystone Fashion Mall.
Just before midnight, police say a fight outside Drake’s escalated to gunfire in the parking lot and left a 43-year-old man dead. The homicide marks the eighth person killed in the last seven days around the city.
“Just to hear that it happened here was shocking,” said Mabuchi Kalua.
Mabuchi works at 9Round gym right next to Drake’s and says he can't remember the last violent crime at the strip mall.
“The one time with Drake’s I’ve ever seen cops, there were 15 of them having lunch. I’ve never seen crime in this area,” said Mabuchi.
A map highlighting all the homicides in 2019 and a similar map from 2018 shows the area between the Keystone Fashion Mall and Castleton Square Mall hasn't seen a homicide since September 2017 when a shooting outside Long John Silvers killed 13-year-old Matthew McGee.
“You know it’s not an area we get a large number of criminal runs, but things can happen anywhere,” said IMPD captain Karen Arnett.
The death Tuesday marks the seventh day in a row IMPD has responded to a homicide, including eight different victims.
The violence includes two deaths Monday, one on Auburn Road and one on Colorado Avenue. On Sunday, a man was shot to death downtown. Another fatal shooting took place Saturday on North Traub.
Three people were shot and one died at a Marathon gas station on Mooresville road on Friday. A 70-year-old was murdered in Irvington last Thursday and on Wednesday a man was shot outside an east side recycling business on Kitley Avenue.
Police say all too often those shootings stem from the inability to resolve conflicts without gunfire.
“We’re talking to the kids and engaging them and making sure we’re giving them examples on how to resolve conflict versus just fighting or shooting,” said Director of Community Violence Reduction Shonna Majors.
City leaders say promoting proper conflict resolution remains a priority for the city's peacemakers program.
In the meantime, a spokesperson for Drake’s sent a written statement that read in part, "The shopping center is considered a safe area where many shop, dine and visit, making the news of this incident both shocking and heartbreaking."
Police say everyone involved in the incident was taken into custody for questioning.
The Marion County Prosecutors Officer will review the case and make a final charging decision against Eyongegbe.