INDIANAPOLIS — A deadly shooting on Indianapolis’ south side followed a historically violent weekend, where eight people were killed between Friday and Sunday.
On Monday, separate deadly shootings claimed the lives of two young men, marking 10 homicide victims who had lost their lives across the city since Friday.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the first shooting happened just before 5:30 a.m. in the 20 block of N. Gray Street on the near east side. The victim, identified by the Marion County Coroner’s Office as 19-year-old Tyvon Moore, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
IMPD responded to another shooting Monday afternoon on Indy’s south side in the 8800 block of St. Peter Street, near U.S. 31 and County Line Road. The victim, identified as 18-year-old Ngun Tha Peng, later died of his injuries after he was taken to the hospital.
Several residents at the Fountain Lake Villas, the apartment complex where the deadly south side shooting occurred, said they were saddened to hear of what happened and expressed concerns for their safety.
One resident said he heard the gunshots as he came outside Monday afternoon.
“I thought, they were so close by they were next to me or something,” said Javier Boyd.
Boyd said he’s been hearing gunfire more often lately in the area. Several other residents shared the same concerns with CBS4 Tuesday afternoon.
“Kinda ridiculous how the neighborhood be,” Boyd said.
‘I feel sorry for his family. I pray for them. That’s sad he lost his life over a gunshot,” said one resident, who asked CBS4 not share his name out of concern for the safety of his family.
The man said he fears for the safety of his 2-year-old daughter and doesn’t come outside with her often because he doesn’t want anything to happen to her. He said, the thought of a stray bullet hitting her, is a fear that he often worries about.
“They need to put these guns down. That’s what they need to do,” said the man.
Echoing the same concerns that several other neighbors shared with CBS4, the resident said he hopes that apartment complex management will take these incidents more seriously and consider adding security cameras, rather than residents needing to take that responsibility into their own hands.
“They just need to put gates on this community right here. If you don’t live here, you can’t come in,” he added.
He said he is frustrated for the family of the young man that lost his life and doesn’t believe this needed to happen. He feels it could have been prevented.
“His family was out here yesterday crying and I’m like, boy that’s sad. Everybody just needs to put down them guns,” the resident shared. “This is too much violence this year. Whoever seen it, they need to just say something.”
“Put the guns down, we don’t need that right now,” said Boyd.
Anyone with information on the homicide on St. Peter Street is asked to contact Detective Lottie Patrick at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or you can e-mail her at Lottie.Patrick@indy.gov.
You can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 317-262-TIPS.
Community reaction to weekend violence
Dee Ross is the founder and CEO of the Ross Foundation, a grassroots organization focused on bridging the gap between resources, services and wellness programs for communities in need.
One of the five main areas that the organization focuses on is crime prevention and working towards creating programming geared toward reducing the city’s murder rate.
Ross said, he was saddened and disappointed to learn of the violent weekend that the city saw and more importantly, the families that are forever changed by these killings.
“Enough is enough. No parent deserves to bury a child. I don’t care how old that person is when they die. That’s still someone’s child and you know, it’s disheartening to say that this has become normalized because we’re seeing murders every single day in our communities,” said Ross. “We have to allude to the fact that this is abnormal and it’s not right. No one deserves to die, period. We have to restore morals and principles and character back into our communities.”
Ross said he believes there needs to be a better effort to address the basic needs of people who live in the communities where the homicides are occurring.
“This is just a reality check of, this is an outcry for help as we see more and more homicides across the city and across the city and across the state. We have to step up and address the barriers and challenges that’s holding our community back from thriving,” said Ross.
Ross said he encourages the community to talk about short-term and long-term solutions to the violence, rather than just focusing on the aftermath of the impacts of the violence. He believes that will be the way to initiate change.
“Short-term solution is to, if you see something, say something, to come together and unify as one community. It’s time for us to put the word unity back into the community. Without all of us in solidarity working together and being on the same page, then we’ll never see a dent go down in our community,” said Ross.
He believes, long-term, it’s important that the community focus on addressing the root causes that drive the violence.
“Most of these areas where the homicides are taking place, suffers from systemic poverty. Usually, they don’t have grocery stores or libraries or quality education,” said Ross. “Until we solve the basic needs addressing the root causes of why people do what they do, when you take all of the basic resources out of a community, you put them in survival mode.”
“You can put all of the programs in the world out here but as you can see, the program of additional peacemakers or you know, more and more initiatives across the state is happening, but if we keep failing to address the stem or root causes, it doesn’t matter how many programs or peacemakers you have in the community, if they still don’t have food, if they still don’t have transportation or access to livable wages, this is still going to be the outcome every time,” said Ross.
Ross said it was his lived experiences that made him want to do good in his community and help others achieve success and be able to thrive and find a path away from violence.
“I used to be in the streets. I’ve been in shootouts. I almost lost my life. I knew exactly what I needed, I’m speaking from a lens of being a victim and being one of the people to be a part of the illegal activities and from the lens of saying if I had these resources in my life and not waited until it was too late, I probably would’ve went down a brighter path in life. If I was seen at a younger age, I probably never would have lost myself the way I lost myself and wasted ten years of my life running the streets,” he said.
“It’s important that we shine a light on the root causes and not just the impact after the math – after a death – after we lose a loved one. What is the build-up to that? The focus needs to by the why and how did we get here,” he said.
Ross’ organization just opened its community resource center in the area of E. 42nd and Post Road.
“It provides holistic resources that this community doesn’t have and we really feel like instead of putting Band-Aids on things, that we have to heal the wounds and this is one way of getting to the root causes of what needs to be addressed in our communities,” Ross said.