INDIANAPOLIS — At least eight people have been killed and several more injured in shootings since Friday in Indianapolis, according to police.
The latest homicide happened Sunday afternoon on the west side of Indianapolis after what police believe was a double homicide-suicide.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called around 2:20 p.m. to the 1700 block of Countryside Drive on the report of shots fired, IMPD Sgt. Grace Sibley said in a press release.
When they arrived, they spoke with an armed man outside of a home, Sibley said. Officers heard gunshots after the man, who hasn't been identified yet, went back into the home. Detectives believe the man also shot at officers from inside the home.
Hours later, IMPD's SWAT officers went into the home and found three people dead with apparent gunshot wounds, Sibley said. One of the people found dead is the man officers spoke with, detectives believe.
The department's Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Leslie VanBuskirk at Leslie.VanBuskirk@indy.gov or 317-327-3475.
Six other homicides in Indianapolis
At least six other people have been shot and killed since Friday in Indianapolis. Their deaths are being investigated as homicides.
- 4300 block of Stouffer Lane
- 3300 block of West St. Clair Street
- 1900 block of North College Avenue
- 4000 block of Alsace Place
- Two people killed in the 4000 block of Stratford Court
One homicide investigation killed Cierra Preer’s brother, Eric Preer, according to an interview WRTV did with her.
"I never thought that in the 33 years of my life that I would be here,” an emotional Preer said. “I never thought that I would be burying my brother. I never thought. "
Preer said her brother was shot and killed while working at a smoke shop Saturday in the 1900 block of North College Avenue.
She said he wasn’t even supposed to be there. He picked up a shift for another co-worker. She added he was armed and attempted to defend himself by firing at the people responsible for his death.
"You all broke my heart with this,” Preer said while crying. “That's my baby. Please give my baby the justice he deserves. He wasn't in the streets. He did nothing. He took care of my mother. He took care of his daughters. "
The violence is something Preer said is devastating.
"I'm sad and I'm heartbroken because not only did my brother lose his life, but multiple people lost their lives,” Preer said. “It's not fair. Families are crying people are grieving this has got to stop."
A grassroots organization focusing on violence reduction by providing resources to the community was disappointed and sad to hear the news of the violence on the weekend.
Dee Ross is the founder and CEO of the Ross Foundation. It’s a grassroots organization aimed at providing resources to the far east side community.
He said these homicides are a result of not addressing the needs of people who live in the communities where some of the homicides are happening. He also called them a cry for help.
"When you don't have a grocery store on this side of town, and you don't have a library, when you don't have mental health and trauma clinics, or a pharmacy, and quality education and livable wage offered on this side of town, this is the outcome of it," Ross said.
He said providing poverty-stricken communities with resources is one of the solutions.
"This is an issue that if we are talking about long-term solutions, we have to address systemic poverty,” Ross said. “We have to ask the questions like why there's more gas stations and liquor stores they grocery stores?"
As for the family members who have lost loved ones due to the violence, he wants them to know his resources are available to them.
"We are praying for you,” Ross said. “We see you and we are going to make sure that your family legacy stays alive."
IMPD didn’t offer any on-camera interviews regarding the violence this weekend, but they did release the following statement:
“We recognize the impact this weekend’s violence has on victims, their families, our community, and the officers who responded to these tragic incidents. As a community, we are better than resorting to violence to resolve conflict or committing unprovoked acts of violence.
We must be better, for our families, our community and our future. But we cannot do it alone. Police cannot do it alone. It will take each one of us, working together to stop this senseless violence.
We call upon members of our community who have information about any homicides or other shootings to contact detectives at 317-327-3475 or anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.“
More violence around central Indiana
A shooting at a large block party in Lafayette left two people dead and four others injured.
Three people were injured during a shooting at a nightclub in Bloomington. Another person was found shot in a vehicle. Police are working to determine if the two incidents are connected.