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IMPD: 66 people between 18 and 24 lost to gun violence so far this year

Posted at 12:32 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 00:00:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis has reached a sad milestone when it comes to violence. The city is on track to break its record for the number of homicides in a year.

On Wednesday, officers with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department began investigating Indy's 207th homicide of 2021.

Carlos Starks, 34, is the city's latest victim of gun violence.

IMPD said Starks was shot near E. 30th and Caroline St., west of N. Keystone Ave. around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday.

"Pow! Pow! Pow, pow, pow! Pow, pow!" Deidra, who lives in the neighborhood, recalled. "I said those are not fireworks in October."

Deidra heard the shots from inside her home and watched as investigators searched for evidence to help bring the victim's family closure.

"Somebody's child. Somebody's Somebody that's gotten killed again," she said. "For what, I don't know."

Deidra said it was a sound that's becoming all too familiar.

"Pow, pow, pow, pow! And I'm tired of hearing that," she said.

Dozens of families in Indianapolis have lost a loved one this year to gun violence. IMPD reported 66 victims were between the ages of 18 and 24.

"That's very personal to me," Erik Davenport, director of the Boys and Girls Club on Indy's east sides said. "A lot of the young men who are in my program have either been a victim or may have been the actual perpetrator. I just lost a young man, Marlon, not too many weeks ago, who was a Pike student of mine and transferred over to my program."

Davenport is also a founding member of the Black Men's Group, mentoring youth and young adults to be better than the streets.

"Violence is perpetrated by those who are really suffering themselves, so we need to find a way to relieve the pressure that causing this instant violence," he said.

Davenport said working with the youth has saved some lives and he commends the Mayor's office and City-County council for investing in the Indianapolis community, but he feels more money should be poured into smaller programs that are making a big difference.

"We are going to have to put them in grassroots programs that's actually working," Davenport said. "I think we always want to go with bigger proven programs and we need to go with some of these outside-of-the-box theories and thoughts because if we don't, we are going to keep putting our kids in boxes."

Davenport encourages those in the community who are frustrated with the violence to get involved with community programs. Mayor Hogsett's violence prevention programs gave more than $2 million in grants this year to 26 community groups working to reduce violence in the city.

Hogsett's budget plan for next year includes more money for organizations to continue that mission.

Along with covering community solutions to the violence in Indianapolis, WRTV is also working to go beyond the numbers. To show you the lives that have been lost in 2021, click here to learn more about them.