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How Indianapolis is dealing with a rise in homicides

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 22:24:43-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Deadly violence is a growing problem in Indianapolis.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 90 homicides in the city. This time last year, Indianapolis had 64 homicides.

They're not the statistics anyone wants to see. Families across the city losing mothers, fathers, siblings and children to violence.

"It's awful," Elisabeth Byrd said. "It's the kind of news you never want to hear, ever."

Byrd is just one of many who got that call. Her 15-year-old brother, Peter Lambermont, was shot and killed back in January.

"Literally he just hooked up with the wrong kids, only knew them for a few weeks and that is all it took," Byrd said.

Since then, countless others have been impacted by violence.

"It's always difficult. People think you get used to it you never do," Shonna Majors, Indianapolis director of community violence reduction, said. "It hurts me each time like it's brand new like I never heard it before."

Majors said the COVID-19 pandemic has added additional challenges as they're not able to run many of the programs they typically do and work with people face-to-face.

"I am concerned about our summer months coming up," Majors said.

Majors said work is being done. Within the coming weeks, several youth and young adult summer programs will resume. A resource fair is also being planned. The goal is to connect people with job opportunities and mental health counselors. They're also working to form new partnerships with organizations and businesses for additional programming.

The city can only do so much, Majors said. She's calling on the community to do their part too.

"I want people to be patient with each other coming out of COVID-19 restrictions and to think before they act," Majors said.

"I think people take life for granted any more and I don't think they realize it until something like what happened with Peter happens to them," Byrd said.