INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Detectives are still searching for a motive to tie to a shooting that happened at a Halloween party on the north side of the Circle City Sunday morning.
The shooting left a teenage girl dead and nine other people wounded. Now, police want to hear from witnesses that might be able to confirm whether or not a masked gunman — who was supposedly turned away from the party at the door — later returned to the area and opened fire into the crowded party.
Social media chatter and a victim’s grandfather have both claimed a gunman opened fire on partygoers after being denied entry to the event.
Andrew Holmes relayed this account while confirming that his 16-year-old grandson was among the wounded.
“Understand that an individual wanted to get in with his ski mask, and they didn’t want him in there with his ski mask on, nobody with a ski mask on,” Andrew Holmes said in an interview with WGN in Chicago. “Understand that this individual left, came back and discharged that weapon.”
IMPD said it has heard several accounts of the shooting and would like witnesses to explain what happened.
Investigators recovered six guns at the scene and shell casings from four different calibers of firearms, indicating multiple shooters.
The wounded range from ages 16 to 22, as the party was overwhelmingly attended by youth from Lawrence and the north side of Indianapolis.
Investigators said the party was not on their radar, as the promoter did not release details of the location until 9 p.m. Saturday — four hours before the gunshots rang out — on a private Snapchat account.
One of the wounded was a sister to the child shot to death.
Andrew Holmes’ grandson is Terrell Sword, a Lawrence North High School football player.
”My grandson suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, his bone and his vein was ruptured,” Holmes told WGN. “So, they’re trying to keep the blood flow going in his leg, so he won’t have a back up. He just wanted to play football and carry his mother’s name on his chest and keep going because she started him playing football, he had a love for football.”
Tamara Sword, Terrell’s mother and Holmes’ daughter, was shot to death outside of a Lafayette Road bar in 2015.
Holmes, a Chicago neighborhood anti-violence activist, arrived in Indianapolis eight years ago to lead a vigil in his daughter’s memory.
“It’s disturbing to hear the news about a mass shooting there and it’s your own relatives, it’s my grandson,” Holmes told WGN. ”I had to rush there when his mother succumbed to her injuries, so it’s that trauma all over again.”
The mass shooting Sunday morning, combined with the wounding of a 17-year-old girl in the 3500 block of Robson Street just a couple hours later, pushed the number of non-fatal shootings of children investigated by IMPD this year to above 60, outpacing the number of all of 2022’s cases.
At least 15 juveniles have died of gunshot wounds in Indianapolis thus far this year.
A spokeswoman for the owner of the property told FOX59 and CBS4 that there was no private security on hand for the Halloween party.
The owner of the property will need to weigh whether the tenant who leased the space where the party occurred will be evicted.
IMPD questions why so many young people were out so late without adult supervision.
“Our children need us and this tonight is a perfect example of why it’s important for us to have conversations with our youth and just to continue to educate them about the violence, about settling disputes, and just about having a good time and go home safely,” said Officer Samone Burris. “This is just the weekend in the city of Indianapolis.”