5 homicides in less than 3 months at Indianapolis housing complex

Crime in Indianapolis
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INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man died after being shot on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

The shooting took place at the long troubled Towne and Terrace housing complex that has been the center of a court battle for years.

The victim, 24-year-old Vorn Taylor Jr., was driven to the intersection of 42nd Street and Post Road, but police believe he was shot nearby on Hampshire Court.

The deadly shooting marked the fifth homicide in the last three months in the same housing complex.

“It’s sad. It’s frustrating. You’re angry because there are lives being lost. There are families being ripped apart because of that loss,” said the director of Indy’s Community Violence Reduction program Shonna Majors.

Starting in June, Zyair Herron was shot to death at Towne and Terrace, followed a week later by a shooting that claimed the life of Ronald Morris. In July Shawn Hicks was gunned down and last month Naytasia Williams was killed by a security guard while sitting in her car.

Over that time, city peacekeepers have worked to try and stop the violence.

“My team and I have been out there all summer long on a weekly basis engaging people in that area,” said Majors.

“I’m very disheartened. We’ve been much better than what we’re seeing now,” said reverend James Jackson with Fervent Prayer church.

Reverend Jackson would like to see even more street outreach in Towne and Terrace where the city currently owns 101 units. Of those ,71 are inside the homeowners association and are in severe disrepair.

“You get to put hope in those areas of hopelessness. People trust those who are on the ground with them,” said Jackson.

Since 2013, the city and the HOA have been locked in a legal fight and the city’s long term demolition plans remain on hold by a court order.

Some neighbors point out many of the homicides involve people who don’t live in the complex and some of the troubled properties sit outside the HOA.

Last year, the court appointed a receiver who will make a recommendation on what should be done with the city-owned units but Reverend Jackson doesn’t think demolition is the best solution.

“It’s not a problem that cannot be fixed,” said Jackson. “You can help people who are staying there keep their homes and improve their living conditions and environment.”

In addition to the shootings this year, four other homicides took place in Towne and Terrace dating back to 2018.

A majority of those crimes remain unsolved.

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