INDIANAPOLIS — In just the first two weeks of this month, the city has seen at least 17 homicides.
Recent crime data for Indianapolis shows that historically, October is one of the deadliest months in the city. Now, leaders are encouraging communities to come together and disrupt this deadly trend.
Residents of the city, police and faith leaders came together on Saturday in Washington Park for a prayer vigil asking for an end to the gun violence.
“The month of October, candidly, has been a difficult month,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said.
There have been at least 17 homicides in the first two weeks of October, each one of them taking away a beloved family member. Included among them is Dajuan Barnett, who was shot to death in his pickup truck last weekend.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Amana Turner, Dajuan’s mother. “Somebody took my son for me somebody took a father away from a daughter.”
At Saturday’s vigil, Mayor Hogsett said the city cannot police its way out of its crime problem.
“The root causes of the crime and gun violence in our city can only be solved by the neighborhoods and the community themselves,” Hogsett said.
The gun violence vigil was aimed squarely at the city’s young people, who leaders said are often wrapped up in the violence. They said the youth will also be the ones to lead the change.
“These kids don’t have a lot of the love that’s necessary,” said Antonio Patton with the office of public health and safety. “Because they are trying to figure it out on their own.”
Patton said it is vital that the community support its youth. He also said that starts by reaching out.
“It’s our job to get involved to aid in, assist in any way we can,” Patton said. “And we do that by coming together loving and showing up.”
With so many lives already lost, it’s hard to see an end in sight. However, the mayor, police and pastors say the only way to get there is to do it together.
“Together we can fix what’s wrong in our community,” said an unknown vigil attendee.
Many of the homicides so far this month remain unsolved. Anybody with any information is urged to call Crimestoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.