INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is helping local families who have lost loved ones to violence.
The department hosted a prayer vigil on Monday night to help remember homicide victims. This vigil comes as we continue to learn of violence across the Circle City, including a deadly shooting Monday morning.
Prayer and song filled Grace Apostolic Church on the near north side of town Monday evening as police and victims’ families joined together.
“We know that your lives are forever changed, and we’re here to walk beside you if you allow us,” Lisa Brown with the IMPD Victim Assistance Program told the crowd Monday night.
The IMPD Chaplains Office hosted the prayer vigil as a chance to create a safe space for victims’ families to grieve and remember.
“This is also a time that we realize we are still walking with them in this process,” IMPD Senior Chaplain John Russell said. “Even though they have lost a loved one some time ago, we’re still here with them. We’re nodding people that we have not forgotten what they go through.”
Russell said grief is a personal journey and varies from person to person. He said everyone should grieve any loss in the community.
“When we lose anyone, we realize we lose a part of our own community, our own experience we can’t get back,” Russell said.
Like Russell, Mayor Joe Hogsett said he agrees everyone has an obligation to uplift those most in need.
“It’s also about the families whose stories that we don’t know, specifically, who always need to be uplifted and remembered,” the Mayor said.
Indianapolis now sits at 61 total homicides for 2023, while 12 of those are considered non-criminal. All of this follows a violent weekend across the circle city, ranging from an Easter Sunday double shooting at Castleton Apartments to a deadly overnight shooting on the west side on Monday.
“We really hope people take time to think, to realize that these are permanent decisions, and we can’t bring anybody back,” Russell said.
Hogsett also said the City of Indianapolis also mourns after Monday’s mass shooting in Louisville, Kentucky.
“As a city, as a state, and as a county, we have to come to the conclusion that enough is enough,” he said. “There have been too many incidents of gun violence throughout the country.”
While Monday’s vigil served as a chance to reflect and mourn, IMPD also made it clear it has services to help families along their journey each and every day.
Russell said the department hosts these vigils twice a year. IMPD’s victim assistance program also works with grieving families on a more regular basis.