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INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in years, the number of shootings and homicides has started to decrease in Indianapolis.

So far, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has investigated 33 homicides over the first two months of 2022.

That is 10 fewer compared to the same time last year, but it’s important to remember each of those numbers represents a family mourning the loss of a loved one.

On the first day of March 2021, an early-morning shooting at the Postbrook East apartments near 42nd and Post left two women dead on the sidewalk.

“It was sad. Like every day has been a battle in my life knowing she’s not here,” said Amanda Jones.

Amanda’s sister, Patrice Jones, left behind a little boy who turns 2 years old this week.

“She lost her life a few days before his birthday.  His birthday is on March 5th. She’s not here to celebrate, and it’s so sad,” said Amanda.

The second woman who died that day was 21-year-old Ashanti Robinson. Exactly one year later, the double homicide remains unsolved.

“This past year has been heartbreaking to all of us,” said Amanda.

The deaths of Patrice and Ashanti marked the 42nd and 43rd homicides of 2021.

While this year has seen fewer homicides compared to the last two years, it’s still significantly higher than most other recent years.

In 2021, there were 43 homicides by the same date. In 2020, there were 41 homicides. In 2019, there were 23 homicides. In 2018 and 2017, there were 22 homicides as of March.

“The hope is we can see this continue to go on a downward pace. Obviously, it won’t turn around overnight,” said Tony Lopez with the Office of Public Health and Safety.

Lopez, the newly appointed deputy director of violence reduction for the city, pointed out that the city plans to continue to expand the peacemakers program this year by adding a total of 50 peacemakers by the summer. The hope is that fewer families will be impacted by violence.

“We’re actually pushing forward and going faster by adding new staff, so we will keep our efforts pushing ahead,” said Lopez.

A majority of this year’s homicides remain unsolved. Anyone with information on those cases or on the death of Patrice can still contact either IMPD or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.