INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 17, 2016) — Indianapolis’ 2016 murder tally is keeping up with last year’s record pace.
33 people were victims of criminal homicides as of Sunday evening.
So far there have been more non-fatal shootings this year compared to 2015 as IMPD Chief Troy Riggs is seeking ways to pressure victims into cooperating.
139 people have been wounded by gunfire in Indianapolis in 2016.
That’s 33 more than at the same time last year.
Investigators report that more than half the victims won’t help investigators determine who shot them and many go on to be attacked again or even killed, or become suspects in subsequent cases.
“We’ve got to get people feeling safe and secure enough to share those things and I get it some of these people are in rough areas where the criminal element is all around,” said IMPD Assistant Chief Randy Taylor. “It still comes back down to having people that are willing to testify or at least talk to the prosecutor’s office with us to make their statements official.”
Riggs said commanders will begin exploring ways to convince more victims to cooperate.
While the approach hasn’t been finalized or implemented, one strategy would be to press criminal charges on victims for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or engaging in criminal activity leading up to their shooting.
The lack of cooperation is detrimental not only to helping surviving shooting victims but also to finding answers to unsolved murders which accounted for approximately 25% of all criminal homicides in Indianapolis last year.
The murder of Wade Havvard in the south Butler/Tarkington community last summer still pains a family that wonders if neighbors who purport to share their grief know more than they are saying.
“It doesn’t make sense for someone to hold the information back,” said Clarence Wade Havvard who still seeks an understanding of his son’s killing, “and speaking to me and pretending nothing happened, there’s a lot of fakeness, and the person that done this is a coward.”