INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s North District Beat 72 had a murderous year in 2021 recording eight homicides.
Three of them were in the Lake Castleton Apartments near 71 Street and North Shadeland Avenue, where there have been no murders this year.
”The residents are nervous. I think that’s the best way to put it,” said Joe Garrison, founder of the North Shadeland Alliance. “It’s been relatively quiet over there this year until the last few weeks. But they lived through what happened last year, and they haven’t let their guard down yet.”
And they likely won’t after Tuesday night when a man was shot in the 7100 block of Old House Road at the north end of the sprawling complex.
”Basically, the walks have been pretty quiet up until last night,” said Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition, who walks the property with Garrison every week when they spotted a man acting suspicious next to a car in the parking lot. “Something just seemed a little off about what was going on, and whatever he was there for, we kind of interfered with it, and he was kind of watching to see where we were going.”
Harrison said as they walked away, Garrison noticed someone else sneaking around the corner of another apartment building.
”Then we walked about a hundred or two hundred feet, then we heard about four or five gunshots,” said Harrison. “In all the years I’ve been doing this work, 23 years, this was the first time something happened where we kind of walked by it.”
A neighbor told CBS4 that the victim came from an abandoned apartment that’s been used for drug dealing and parties.
When we contacted Lake Castleton management for comment, the call disconnected.
”Public safety is a top priority, so if there is anything I can do about that, then I will help with that,” said Garrison, who has found neighbors reluctant to confront the residents and visitors bringing crime to their community. ”From time to time, we’ll have someone who will say, ‘Hey, you ought to know about something happening over here.’”
There were seven people shot over the course of 10 hours Tuesday night into the morning across Indianapolis, where non-fatal shooting incidents are down 12% compared to last year’s record pace.
”I feel like a lot of people are losing hope these days, for the most part. They need something to believe in, more positive,” said Phil Campbell, who cuts hair nearby. ”I’m hoping we start to see some positive things start to happen, maybe some change of hearts and maybe some people understand that violence sometimes isn’t always the answer.
”I understand the climate of today, and the climate of today is, ‘How do you beat somebody with guns? Get more guns.’ They think that the answer is more guns. It’s unfortunate.”
Harrison said he and his partners won’t be discouraged by the violence they sought to halt but stumbled upon at Lake Castleton last night.
”We’ll be back next Tuesday,” he said, “or, somebody may be back before next Tuesday.”
Phil the barber said he may join them.