INDIANAPOLIS — The year 2023 has gotten off to a violent start in Indianapolis. In January, IMPD was called to investigate a homicide every 36 hours.

Over the first 31 days of the year, IMPD reported there were 21 total homicide victims in the city.

That is the second deadliest January in recent history, behind only 2021.

On the second day of the New Year, a teenager showed up at Community East Hospital with a fatal gunshot wound. The shooting, which police believe was an accident inside an east side home, marked the year’s first homicide and the beginning of a deadly month in Indianapolis.

“The level of frustration in the community is at an all-time high,” said Aaron Williams with the City of Peace Coalition.

In fact, looking back nearly a decade, this year was only the second time in history the city saw 20 homicides in January.

“It is beyond frustrating to see where we’re at. It’s mind-boggling more than anything,” said Williams.

While there were 24 homicides in January 2021, that included a mass murder of six family members inside a home on Adams. 

By contrast, the 21 homicide victims this year included 19 separate incidents. That means the number of homicide scenes IMPD responded to this January was the highest number in recent history.

“No one is immune from the violence and until the community says enough is enough and holds those in charge responsible, it’s going to happen,” said Williams.

Of course, January represents a small sample size and IMPD notes that homicides decreased in 2022.

“Our numbers were down last year. We just want to speak to the community and let them know they’ve been doing great work working with us,” said IMPD officer Samone Burris.

Officer Burris added that community involvement is the key to reducing violence.

“If our community continues to do great work, those numbers will continue to go down and we will have to respond less to lives being taken in our community.

“We can’t just throw money at it. That’s one thing we’ve seen time and time again,” said Williams.

Aaron Williams said while the city has spent millions of dollars in federal money on better technology and community outreach, it’s important to make sure those investments are actually successful.

“The money that has been spent and allocated, there has to be accountability to make sure things are being done and we’re seeing results,” said Williams.

Because there have been several accidental and self-defense homicides this year, IMPD points out that criminal homicides in January were actually down compared to the last few years.