INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis father is in jail and accused of wounding two women during a drive-by shooting at his own daughter’s birthday party.
The birthday party for the 4-year-old girl was interrupted by gunfire Sunday night on Fox Harbour Lane on Indy’s south side.
One woman was shot in the hip. A second woman was shot in the foot.
Two other witnesses returned fire and shot the suspect who was riding in the passenger seat of a car that drove away.
Multiple witnesses told police the suspect’s brother lives at an apartment complex on the west side. That helped police track the getaway car to the Heather Ridge Apartments where they arrested the accused shooter following a brief standoff.
According to the affidavit, the shooting victims quickly identified the girl’s father as the gunman and claimed 36-year-old Edwin Nolasco-Contreras wanted to kill his entire family because he is unable to see his child.
“You don’t want to see this happen. It creates more trauma in the community and doesn’t help people feel safe,” said Reverend David Greene with the Concerned Clergy.
Reverend Greene is concerned not just with the details of that case, but also by numbers that show so far this year non-fatal shooting incidents and victims have gone up significantly compared to the same time last year.
IMPD reports there were 74 victims and 68 incidents at this time in 2022. Over the same span in 2023, there have been 97 victims and 90 incidents.
“It’s scary and you hope things are going to change,” said Greene.
“IMPD is still looking into our technology and building it around the city to assist with these crimes,” said IMPD Sgt. Genae Cook.
While IMPD plans to continue investing in technology to combat violence in 2023, police know they can’t solve crimes on their own.
“The thing we need the most is the community’s help,” said Cook.
For his part, Reverend Greene believes the state’s open carry law has contributed to the violence and also says improving the number of cases that get solved will deter people from committing violence.
“We’ve got at least to convince the community that if you commit crimes you’ll be caught and go to jail,” said Greene.
After being arrested, court records claim the suspect in Sunday’s shooting denied shooting anyone and claimed any spent shell casings found in his car had been planted.
Both shooting victims also told police the suspect previously tried to burn down their homes.
Right now, the suspect is being held on a $60,000 bond for preliminary charges of aggravated battery and criminal recklessness.
Police reports show there were more than a dozen witnesses to the shooting. As a result, so far IMPD has declined to release the booking photo of the suspect.