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IMPD, community raise concerns after spike in downtown Indianapolis shootings

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 20:13:31-04

INDIANAPOLIS — In a little more than a month, the number of people who have been shot in downtown Indianapolis has more than doubled the amount of people shot downtown in 2018.

Since the beginning of this year, 11 people have been shot in downtown Indianapolis. Of those, at least one person has died—their death being ruled a homicide.

In 2018, at least four people were shot in downtown Indianapolis, according to records from IMPD. One of the victims, Amond Boochee, later died. His death was ruled a homicide.

Since May 1, 10 people have been shot downtown – one fatally. This is concerning, both to police and the community.

The shootings:

On May 1, two judges from Clark County were injured when they were shot in the parking lot of White Castle.

Detectives later charged two people seen exiting an SUV on surveillance video, but prosecutors said more investigative work was needed before formal charges could be filed.

Specific details about what led to the shooting of the two judges have not been released.

PREVIOUS | Two Indiana judges injured in shooting in White Castle parking lot in downtown Indianapolis

Four days later on May 5, three teens and a 20-year-old man were injured when someone opened fire just before midnight in the 100 block of West Maryland Street. A 16-year-old was listed as the suspect in an IMPD report.

PREVIOUS | Four people shot in downtown Indianapolis

At least three people were shot in the early morning hours of May 25 near the canal. All three victims suffered non-life threatening injuries. An IMPD Captain told RTV6 at the scene detectives weren’t sure if they were looking for a suspect.

PREVIOUS | Three people injured in downtown shooting near canal

On June 2, a man was shot and killed around 1:30 a.m. near South Meridian and West South streets. The man was identified as Jeffery Reed, 33, according to the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

A 30-year-old man was later arrested after an officer told detectives he saw a man chase and shot Reed while on patrol.

Detectives believe the homicide was an isolated incident, IMPD Officer Aaron Hamer said.

PREVIOUS | Man arrested after deadly shooting in downtown Indianapolis | Two men killed in two overnight shootings in Indianapolis

On March 31, a man told detectives he was sitting at the stop light near East 10th and North Delaware streets when two cars next to him began shooting, IMPD officers at the scene told RTV6. He was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

PREVIOUS | Man in critical but stable condition after shooting in downtown Indianapolis

What police are doing:

“Any violence, up or down, regardless of the amount of violence, is always a concern of ours because we want people to come downtown, enjoy their experiences,” IMPD Maj. Harold Turner said. “And the vast majority of the time, 99 percent, that’s exactly what happens.”

IMPD already staffs the downtown district with more officers and resources per square mile compared to other districts, Turner said.

Officers are working with bar owners to keep crime down not just in downtown, but the entire city, Turner said.

When downtown and people notice others, who are too intoxicated or not acting right, IMPD encourages people to let an officer know or call for help.

“Don’t handle it yourself, don’t get mad and get upset,” Turner said. “That’s when things usually start heading in a bad direction. Come find the police, work with us. We will work together to handle a situation and try to handle it as calmly as possible.”

Community responds:

Some businesses say they are always concerned with safety in downtown Indianapolis and want to work with both IMPD and the community to help.

“Well, any occasion of crime is a concern, but as horrific as these occurrences are, downtown Indy is still a very safe place for our visitors, our guests, our employees, those who want to come down,” Tim Boruff, VP of Finance and Operations of Downtown Indy Inc. said.

Downtown Indy Inc. and IMPD also work closely to look at crime statistics for the downtown area, Boruff said. Of all of the crime in Indianapolis, only 5 percent of it happens downtown.

Some residents, like Leshay Steele, think more awareness and community partnerships are needed in order to help reduce the violence.

“It is very concerning,” Steele said. “It’s heartbreaking. We are supposed to come together. Our community would be so much better and so stronger if we were all together and stop hurting each other.”

Social media is also a major problem and cause for a lot of the violence, Steel said.

“You have a lot of kids now that are so quick to fight ‘oh he did this or he said this’ and so quick to pull out a gun and they’re not aware of the consequences or how that could affect someone right away and long term, too” Steele said. “A bullet doesn’t have a name on it, so you never know who could get hit with it.”