‘We are all susceptible’: 77-year-old shot to death inside his own home

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INDIANAPOLIS — Police are trying to figure out what led to a 77-year-old man being killed inside his own home on Indy’s west side.

The victim, James Blancett, was found shot to death Thursday morning at his home on Bertrand.

At 77-years-old, Blancett is the oldest homicide victim of the year. At the same time, the numbers show no one is immune to violence, regardless of age.

“It’s just painful and it hurts, because I know that things can be changed,” said Naeemah Joyce Jackson with the Peace Learning Center.

Naeemah didn’t know Blancett, but she provides counseling to families to try and prevent violence and is frustrated by the spike in deadly shootings this year.

“It’s wearisome and something’s got to give. Something has to change. We are all susceptible,” said Joyce Jackson.

Although the average age of homicide victims this year is 34, according to IMPD, Blancett’s death is the 5th homicide of the year involving a victim over the age of 70. The city has seen the same number of homicides involving victims under the age of 18 this year.

“We are very aware at Peace Learning Center of how violence affects the entire family regardless of age,” said Joyce Jackson.

In Blancett’s case, his family claims there were no signs of forced entry and police didn’t explain a possible motive.

Court records show Blancett’s 58-year-old female roommate was taken into custody for mental evaluation and was later arrested for assaulting security staff at Eskenazi.

No one is yet facing charges in connection related to the homicide.

Naeemah just hopes everyone realizes the root causes of violence don’t discriminate based on age.

“We tackle those issues head on. We work with families to help them understand the generational impact of conflict, how it can affect everyone,” said Joyce Jackson. 

The previous four homicides this year involving a victim 70 or older have all been cleared. The killing on Bertrand is the only one that so far remains unsolved.

For more information on resources and programs aimed at preventing violence, families can contact Peace Learning Center here.

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