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Homicides dip 16% in 2022; city leaders credit investments, new crime-fighting technology

"We can see that progress is being made," Mayor Joe Hogsett said. "The investments we're making are working and are making a difference now."
Posted at 9:08 AM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 09:43:09-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The number of homicides in Indianapolis dropped 16% in 2022, but for the third year in a row Indianapolis police have investigated more than 200 homicide deaths.

"We can see that progress is being made," Mayor Joe Hogsett said. "The investments we're making are working and are making a difference now."

Hogsett credited the reduction to city efforts, including hiring more police officers, deploying peacemakers and funding grants for community programs aimed at curbing crime along with new technology including license-plate readers and gunshot detection systems.

As of Dec. 20, there were 222 homicide deaths in the areas patrolled by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. There was a total of 272 homicides in 2021 and 245 in 2020 — both years set records.

"One homicide is too many homicides so we still have a lot of work to do," Hogsett said. "But I'm very comfortable that the investments we're making in public safety are making a difference to keep our community as safe (and) our neighborhoods as safe as they can possibly be."

While the city is making progress, officials stress this modest decline from a staggering high isn't reason to celebrate.

"We know that each one of those lives represents a soul," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor said. "It represents someone's brother, sister, son, daughter, whatever. Someone that's important to somebody and those numbers have got to come down."

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IMPD Chief Randal Taylor

For another measure of gun violence, the number of non-fatal shootings in the city also dropped 13% this year, according to IMPD.

"That's not really where we want to be, but it's certainly moved in the right direction," Taylor said. "And hopefully that gives people something to at least take some some comfort in."

Indianapolis police solved about 32% of homicides this year, which is on par with last year's clearance rate. Police agencies in Indiana had a clearance rate of about 39% in 2021.

Officials say the violence is driven by societal problems including poverty, lack of housing, lack of education and poor parenting.

"Those kinds of things certainly play a factor," Taylor said. "But we all know people who have come up and didn't have a whole lot of money, didn't have a great education, didn't have a lot of things going for them. It doesn't mean they turn around and commit violent acts of crime."

Taylor said there's no easy answer to these big problems, but Mayor Hogsett's 2023 budget includes $150 million in spending on hiring new police officers, technology, mental health services and other programs aimed at reducing crime.

"There's not a one solution type answer," Taylor said. "I think we've got to address all those things as a whole. IMPD is not going to be able to do it alone... We're not raising kids."

Gun violence remains by far the leading cause of homicide deaths in Indianapolis. Gunshots were the cause of about 85% of the homicide deaths this year. The second leading method of homicide deaths was stabbings, which was the cause in about 9% of the 2022 homicide cases.

Stabbing was the cause of death for the first homicide victim of 2022.

Genaro Dominguez Hipolito, 35, was packing up after a New Year's Eve celebration with his family at a southside restaurant when he confronted a driver who was speeding through the parking lot.

Genero Dominguez Hipolito sits with his niece, Patricia, and nephews, Junior and Beto.

The men exchanged words before the driver pulled a knife and stabbed Dominguez Hipolito. He died. The case remains unsolved.

Marion County prosecutors and IMPD told WRTV there have been no arrests and there is nothing new to report in the investigation.

Dominguez Hipolito's family said they met with prosecutors who promised to them they will keep searching for the man responsible. The family thinks the suspect may have fled the country.

"We're still a little upset because we haven't heard about anything," said Andrea Rivera, Dominguez Hipolito's niece. "No updates about if he's been captured or if they know where he's at."

Dominguez Hipolito worked as a painter in Indianapolis. He was the sole provider for his wife Aurelia Hipolito Antonio, daughters Liliana and Yoana and son Eribaldo Dominguez, who live in Mexico.

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Andrea Rivera (left) and Eva Rivera

"It's not fair that we don't feel safe here," said Eva Rivera, Dominguez Hipolito's sister, speaking in Spanish with Andrea acting as an interpreter. "Police are not even protecting us... It's not fair to ever happen to anyone."

Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, said police are just as frustrated as the citizens they are sworn to protect.

He insists the violence is related to what he has called a revolving-door justice system, where criminals are back on the streets soon after they are arrested.

"It does not matter how much money we throw at this situation. None of that matters until we close this revolving door," Snyder said. "We are letting a small group of people (continue) victimizing and traumatizing our community."

The homicides, Snyder said, can be traced to a court system that fails to hold people accountable.

Indianapolis FOP President Rick Snyder

"We have to acknowledge that we are still at record, historic levels," Snyder said. "This is the third straight year we've seen over 200 homicides... I hate it, because we're talking about these numbers as though they're numbers. These are lives, you know. It's important that we never lose sight of that."

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on Twitter: @vicryc.