INDIANAPOLIS — Five people, including a 4-year-old child, were wounded in what sources indicate was likely a domestic-related shooting at a funeral home on Indianapolis’ northwest side Saturday.
Monday at 6 p.m., clergy members expect to be joined by Mayor Joe Hogsett and a pair of city-county councilors in a peace march to that location.
The march will begin at Barnes United Methodist Church, the home church of Ten Coalition leader Rev. Charles Harrison who said he expects councilors Vop Osili and John Barth whose district lines straddle the location of the funeral home shooting.
In the wake of the shooting, Mayor Hogsett issued the following statement:
“Far too many residents have borne the consequences of the combination of firearms and failed conflict resolution.”
During his two terms in office, Hogsett has dedicated in excess of $10 million to funding community-based violence reduction programs, including conflict resolution projects.
“To the extent that the conflict resolution issues have been slow to turn, I think that more investment may be the ticket,” said Hogsett. “I think that the investments that we are making are slowly making a difference, and in a week I will present a budget to the City of Indianapolis and the City-County Council that I think will be very public safety oriented, very focused on investments that I think will allow our community to scale up what we already do.”
Last year, Hogsett and the council resisted calls to defund the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and actually allocated more spending to law enforcement and community programs.
“We want to make sure that our law enforcement is out there doing the work that our community expects,” said Osili. “We’ve shaken the foundation for what I think we’ve known for generations, and we are resetting the clock. We have to reset the clock, because last year exposed so many things that are generational in the problems that we have in our communities.
“What we haven’t been able to do is invest more in our community members and invest more in the individuals who know more about the individuals and addressing the issues of trauma, anger, unemployment, education. We’ve got to do more of that.”
While Hogsett blames the prevalence of firearms, illegal and otherwise, for Indianapolis’ epidemic of violence, the mayor said his hands are tied by congressional inaction on significant gun reform legislation.
“We have to get these firearms out of the hands of our young people,” Congressman Andre Carson told FOX59. “As someone who supports the Second Amendment, as someone who was in law enforcement, I still understand the need to ban assault weapons for non-military, non-law enforcement.”
City-county councilors now have skin in the violence reduction game after approving half of the more than $3 million they’ve earmarked for district specific program spending.
“I think that the City-County Council and the $3.1 million that it appropriated just a month or so ago addressing mental health, juvenile justice and other issues will have a profound impact,” said Hogsett. “It will take time, and we want to make those programs even more impactful by scaling them up.”
Osili said several of the programs receiving council appropriations are new to operating under city guidelines.
“Moneys have gone out, most of those are getting stood up, getting established and getting into process. I think over the course of the next weeks and months we’ll see how impactful they are.”
As of Sunday night, Indianapolis had recorded its 157th homicide of 2021. Last year on this date, that total stood at 131 on the way to an annual record of 245.