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Deadly shooting inside JW Marriott in Indianapolis under investigation

Posted at 2:49 AM, Nov 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-22 20:14:38-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a deadly shooting early Saturday morning inside the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called around 1 a.m. to the 20th floor of the hotel on the report of a person shot, IMPD Maj. Harold Turner said.

When they arrived, they found a girl suffering from at least one apparent gunshot wound, Turner said.

Karla Vasquez, 16, was killed in the incident, Marion County Chief Deputy Coroner Alfie McGinty said in an email.

Karla Vasquez, 16, was shot and killed on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

The boy was arrested and preliminarily charged with reckless homicide, according to IMPD. His identity hasn't been released. Formal charges haven't been filed yet by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.

Christian Chinchilla, Vasquez's brother, says she was at a small party for her friend's 21st birthday.

At the time of the shooting, he says witnesses told him his sister was asleep. He said he has been told the shooting was an accident, but doesn't believe a 17-year-old should've had a gun in the hotel room in the first place.

"My little innocent sister had to get shot from a stray bullet," Chinchilla said. "There was no need for him to aim the barrel at her. That's why you go to the shooting range. It doesn't make sense that anyone can have a gun and say 'Ok I can take your life.' Some kids think it's funny, a game or a sport. It's the culture we live in. It's unfortunate I have to be a victim of a tragedy like this."

"Karla was a smart girl with goals, always carried herself right with a beautiful heart," her friend Alison Gonzalez said. "Our baby she didn’t get to walk across the stage, get married, have a baby, nothing."

IMPD homicide detectives are reviewing security camera footage and interviewing several witnesses, Turner said.

Anyone with information is asked to call IMPD homicide detectives at 317-327-3475 or report tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).