Indy in 2020 matches last year’s homicide total: 172 homicides and counting

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INDIANAPOLIS — A shooting Thursday morning on Indy’s west side left one woman dead.

Police were called to a home in the 2900 block of Taft Avenue and found a woman shot and killed in the backyard.

The homicide on Taft means 52 more people have been killed this year compared to the same time last year.

In fact, with three months left in the year, the city has already equaled the homicide total for all of last year.

On a frigid New Year’s Eve in 2019, the final homicide of the year, number 172, took place on Belmont and claimed the life of 59-year-old Eddie Brown.

Nice months later on Taft, another woman in her 50’s was shot and killed matching that homicide total.

“172 is disturbing. This is turning into Dodge City,” said Reverend Malachi Walker with Young Men Inc.

Reverend Walker has mentored the city’s youth for a quarter century.

In 2020, the COVID pandemic cut in half the number of young men he could have at his camp and that lack of face-to-face assistance has been a challenge for many crime-fighting groups this year.

“We ought to be concerned about that. We ought to be concerned that the numbers are going up.  This can’t happen. We have to do something,” said Walker.

The fact is Indianapolis isn’t alone. Gun violence is on the rise this year across the country.

Some city’s like Louisville and Memphis have already broken their homicide records, while others like Columbus, Cincinnati and Kansas City are on pace to do the same and no one really knows why.

“I understand people have a heightened emotion this year with everything going on. That’s no secret. Everybody is a little bit more tense,” said IMPD officer Genae Cook.

Police can only speculate the pandemic, coupled with increased unemployment and racial tensions is driving an increase in violence, but police insist they need public’s help preventing and solving crime more than ever.

“Now is the time to step up and understand your community and work with your community,” said Cook.

As for the death on Taft Avenue, police did not have any suspect information to release. Witnesses saw several vehicles leave the scene at the time of the shooting, but a description on those cars has also not been released.

The homicide puts the city just 7 shy of tying the all-time homicide record of 179 set in 2017.

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