INDIANAPOLIS — Police said a robbery, that was all caught on camera, led to a double homicide at a controversial motel on Indy’s east side.

The killings took place at the Budget 8 Inn. That business has been a hotspot for crime for years.

On Saturday morning, just after 5 a.m., IMPD East District officers responded to the 6800 block of E. 21st Street on a report of shots fired.

Police said two men were killed after they forced a man to strip off his clothes at gunpoint in an apparent armed robbery. On Monday, the victims were identified as 29-year-old Andre Caldwell and 48-year-old Jimmy Jones.

“We believe some type of narcotics transaction or meetup occurred at this location. A couple of individuals proceeded to rob one of the others, and a gunfight ensued,” said IMPD East District Commander Richard Riddle.

Commander Riddle believes a third person was wounded in the shooting, but that person fled the scene before being found a short time later at another location.

The violence marks the fourth and fifth homicides at the Budget 8 Inn since late 2020.

“Obviously, this location is prone to criminal activity and violence,” said Riddle.

In fact, police reports show IMPD has responded to hundreds of crimes at the Budget 8 over the last couple of years. The crimes include shootings, stabbings, thefts, drug possession and dealing, prostitution, robberies and much more.

“Certainly, we have a problem that needs to get solved immediately for the public’s safety,” said Riddle.

Regardless of the motive for the weekend homicides, the owner defended his business against claims that the motel poses a public safety risk.

“We can’t see or control what’s in people’s minds and what they’re going to do,” said Budget 8 Inn owner Kartik Patel.

Patel said he has taken steps to keep his guests safe, including installing 40 surveillance cameras around the property. Four of those cameras feed directly to IMPD.

At the same time, Patel insists a lot of people who cause problems at the motel have previously been told to stay away.

“We have a ton of people who are in trespass, and they still keep coming,” said Patel. “So our hands are tied.”

IMPD praised Patel’s investments in technology but said the business remains under investigation by the city, as they look for ways to reduce violence on the property.

“You know I don’t want people to think we’re taking this lightly. I think this location is a sore spot and an eyesore,” said Riddle.

Ultimately, it will be up to the prosecutor’s office to decide if any criminal charges should be filed in the weekend violence.

Anyone with information about this incident should call Detective James Hurt at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or email him at James.Hurt@indy.gov