INDIANAPOLIS — June Barnes has felt the pain of losing a loved one before.
She said her son was killed when he was shot nine times in Gary.
“I lost my son, it’s been 30 years yesterday,” Barnes said.
Barnes’s northside apartment is a few feet away from where 17-year-old Robert Fletcher Junior was found shot and killed Monday morning. The caution tape is a vivid reminder of another Indianapolis teen lost to gun violence
“Every time I see the news because I do watch the news that has lost their child; I can’t help but cry because I know the pain,” Barnes said.
Monday morning’s shooting hits too close to home. Barnes has an 11-year-old son as well. She said that he must be inside by 7 p.m. every day.
“He is not allowed to go into anybody else’s apartment, he’s not allowed to go into any of the other streets but this one,” Barnes said.
David Coatie has been a member of the Indianapolis Ten-Point Coalition since 1999. He is also an associate pastor at Christ Church Apostolic on the northside.
“I think we must find a way to teach de-escalation,” Coatie said.
Coatie’s church is working to be a part of the solution by running a program called Young Achievers.
“Teaches options and different ways of handling violence and handling problems,” Coatie said.
Problems that Coatie feels continue to exist with Indianapolis teens.
“We must get on the streets and engage with people talk to people, find out what’s going on in their life,” Coatie said.