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City passes 200 homicides, on pace to end with more than 260

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Posted at 8:16 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 17:38:48-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis surpassed 200 homicides on Friday, putting 2021 securely on pace to be the deadliest year in the city's history.

Dylan McGinnis, 24, and a woman were in a vehicle when someone shot them both about 11:30 p.m. Friday in the 2900 block of East 11th Street, near North Oxford Street, police said.

The woman was treated at an area hospital. McGinnis died at the scene, making his death the city's 200th homicide.

“200 homicides in our community mean 200 lives lost to senseless acts of violence," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said in an email to WRTV. "As chief this is heartbreaking. We have resources that exist within our community that we must take advantage of."

If the numbers hold, Indianapolis is on pace to finish 2021 with about 266 homicides.

Last year, the city reached it 200th homicide on Oct. 27 before ending 2020 with the current record of 245.

Indianapolis has set a new record for homicides every year except one since at least 2015. The one one year dip happened in 2019 when city saw 171 homicides, six fewer than the year prior.

That dip in homicides came three years after Mayor Joe Hogsett first took office in 2016. He said it proves his crime fighting strategies can make an impact.

"In that first term we focused a lot of our initiatives on anti-violence efforts and for the first time (in about a decade) in 2019 there was a decrease in the overall number of homicides," Hogsett said on Wednesday, two days before the city saw its 200th homicide.

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Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett provided an update on a mass shooting at the FedEx Ground-Plainfield Operation Center in Indianapolis on Friday, April 16, 2021.

"(That) says to me that a lot of what we were implementing during the first term was beginning to take hold and work. Then, you know, along comes 2020 and COVID-19, and the incredible disruption that that has created."

In hopes of repeating things the city did right in 2019, Hogsett now is turbo-charging the city's anti-violence efforts.

In August, he outlined a three-year plan to spend more than $166 million on public safety improvements that include hiring 100 additional police officers and purchasing electronic license plate readers that quickly find stolen vehicles.

Hogsett's proposal also will invest more than $80 million in the community and grass-roots programs, including an expansion of the city's crime-prevention grants from about $3 million to about $15 million.

It would also spend another $51 million on programs aimed at eliminating the root causes of crime in the city, including poverty and addiction. More than $30 million of this money will go towards mental health services.

Hogsett said he hopes the new spending "will allow us to show those same kinds of results" as 2019.

"None of that will mean anything if he does not get this criminal justice system fixed," said Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

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Indianapolis FOP President Rick Snyder

Snyder said he applauds Hogsett for committing to hire new officers and the other crime-reduction efforts, but he expressed deep frustration that the mayor has not done enough to fix "the broken revolving door of criminal justice."

Too many violent offenders are placed on home detention or GPS monitoring instead of being sent to jail or prison, Snyder said. On at least two occasions this year, suspects were accused of committing homicides while they were on GPS monitoring.

Mayors don't decide who gets released from jail, that's a judge's job. But Snyder said Hogsett hasn't shown leadership on trying to correct the public safety failings that fall outside of his direct control.

"The point we keep making is we've go too do both, fund the police and fix the catch-and-release of criminal justice," Snyder said.

RELATED | An unwanted milestone: Indianapolis passes 200 homicides

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at victor.ryckaert@wrtv.com or on Twitter: @vicryc.