INDIANAPOLIS – The names of five people killed over the weekend in Indianapolis have been released.
The five homicides took place over the span of just 48 hours.
In a neighborhood on Kinnear avenue, 41-year-old Solomon Keets was found shot to death inside a car on Friday.
The same afternoon, 36-year-old Jessie Leonard was shot and killed by IMPD officers on Eugene Street.
Later that night a deadly stabbing claimed the life of 51-year-old Chandre Rhodes at an apartment complex on Cavalier Court.
On Saturday, 32-year-old Keegan Wolf was shot to death at a hotel on Lafayette.
On Sunday, 25-year-old James Jones II was killed at a KFC on Meridian.
“I hate to say it but our city is becoming a battleground for disaster,” said reverend Malachi Walker with Young Men Inc.
In fact, the deaths put the city on the doorstep of a dubious number.
So far there have been 198 homicides investigated by IMPD this year.
That is significantly higher than the 171 deaths at the same time last year. It’s also a dramatic spike over the previous few years. There were 117 homicides on this date in 2019, 125 in 2018 and 120 in 2017.
“We’re gonna have to start speaking up. We have to get these criminals off the streets and get the guns out of their hands,” said Walker.
“I’m a firm believer that we need complete criminal justice reform,” said reverend David Greene with the Concerned Clergy.
Reverend Greene points out that police often can’t make arrests without the public’s help, but the public will only speak up if they trust the court system to hold the killers accountable and he believes right now that trust simply doesn’t exist.
“That fuels the mentality of why should I step forward and take risk in my life, if I don’t believe in the system as a whole?” said Greene. “So we need all the players at the table, from the community to judges, prosecutors and IMPD.”
According to IMPD, last year the city finished with 245 homicides and the city is on pace to break that record this year.