INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis has reached a deadly milestone earlier than expected. A fatal shooting on Keystone Thursday morning marked the 100th homicide of the year.
So far this year, Nya Cope and Rodgerick Payne were killed by strayed bullets. Officer Breann Leath died responding to an emergency call. Dreasjon Reed was shot and killed by police following a car chase. Angela Summers was shot to death delivering the mail. Chris Beaty was murdered outside his downtown apartment.
Those are just some of the 100 homicides so far this year.
At the same time, community groups remain hard at work trying to bring those numbers down.
From pushups to jumping jacks and sprint relays, for the 26th year in a row Young Men Inc. has held a summer camp to empower and educate young minds.
“Camps like this teaches young men how to grow up and take control of their lives,” said Rev. Malachi Walker.
Rev. Walker says the fact that Indy has reached a hundred homicides in 170 days illustrates the need for more investment in community groups working to teach kids valuable life lessons. Lesson that are not lost on the group of kids he’s working with this summer.
“Discipline is important because if you don’t have discipline you may not go down the right track in life,” said camper Jayse Evans.
“I had to learn how to control my anger and they taught me how to control my anger and use it for discipline,” said camper Messiah Belton.
To put this year’s violence in perspective, over the last several years, the city has reached 100 homicides in mid to late August.
In 2019, Indy saw it’s 100th homicide on August 23 and ended the year with 172 homicides.
In 2018, the 100th homicide occurred on August 12 before the city finished the year with 178 homicides.
In 2017, the 100th homicide took place on August 24 before ending at 178 homicides at the end of the year.
Those totals include all homicides, not just those that are considered criminal murders.
“It’s heartbreaking because behind each number there is a person,” said IMPD deputy chief Chris Bailey.
Bailey knows that despite the record breaking homicide numbers so far this year, police can’t fix the problem on their own.
“What we can’t do it give up. We have to continue work together and find the long-term solutions that will turn the tide in this,” said Bailey.
While Reverend Walker can’t keep up with some of his campers when it comes to wind sprints, he hopes his hard work is saving their lives.
“This is not where we want to be as a city, but I strongly believe if we come together we can solve a lot of the problems and issues,” said Walker.
Last year on the same date, the city was at 66 homicides.
City-county council president Vop Osili issued this written statement about the violence:
“Today’s milestone is marked with very heavy hearts across our entire community and is a bleak illustration of the urgent need to address the root causes of violence in our city—a task we must all take on. All of us, elected officials, faith partners, social service agencies, community members, and law enforcement must work together to tackle the issues that underlie this violence.”