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Juvenile suspect arrested in Adams Street mass shooting that killed 5 people and unborn child

Shooting occurred around 4 a.m. Sunday
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Posted at 10:55 AM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 17:32:01-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis police detectives arrested a juvenile suspect Monday, a day after a mass shooting at a house on Adams Street left five people and an unborn child dead.

A statement from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said the suspect's name and photo are not being released because the person is not an adult. IMPD did not include the suspect's age.

WRTV's Rafael Sanchez reported the suspect is a 17-year-old who has been arrested on initial charges of murder and intentional manslaughter with a handgun and attempted murder.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has not announced official charges.

“Yesterday, we promised swift justice for this heinous act. Today, we delivered on that promise," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said in a statement. "While removing the alleged perpetrator of yesterday's mass murder from our neighborhoods does not bring back the lives senselessly lost, hopefully, it will bring us one step closer to healing as a community.

"I am grateful to all of the IMPD officers and criminal justice partners who have worked tirelessly for the last 30 plus hours to bring justice for these victims, their friends and families, and our entire community. I ask community members to join me in praying for the continued recovery of the young man whose life has been forever changed."

Kezzie Childs, 42, Raymond Childs, 42, Elijah Childs, 18, Rita Childs, 13, Kiara Hawkins, 19, and Hawkins' unborn child died in the shooting that occurred after 4 a.m. in the 3500 block of Adams Street.

Investigators were led to the scene after making contact in the 3300 block of East 36th Street with a boy who had been shot. He is expected to survive.

Leaders with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spoke with WRTV about the arrest.

“This is just the first step in getting these victims and their family members justice,” said Assistant Chief Chris Bailey with IMPD. “The community is traumatized by this. There are people that have lived there their whole life there, people that have to go back there in their neighborhood and they want to know that they are safe.”

That arrest came just 24 hours after the shooting. Police say they are not looking for any additional suspects at this time.

Numerous agencies were involved in the investigation and more than 60 officers worked this case.

In a statement Monday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett thanked the IMPD investigators who worked to make an arrest.

“Today’s announcement is the first step toward justice for the senseless acts that cut short the lives of six of our neighbors in the early hours of Sunday morning," Hogsett said. "While nothing can bring back the Childs family, I hope that the swift action of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department offers some comfort to all of those who have been left to grapple with this tragic loss.

"My thanks go to the men and women of IMPD whose thoughtful investigative work led to the arrest of the suspect, and my prayers are with the family, friends, and community impacted by this devastating act of violence.”

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Taylor said the mass shooting did not appear to be a random act.

"I don't know what goes through a person's mind," Taylor said. "I don't know what kind of lie they listen to in their head that would tell them that pulling the trigger on anybody, but especially on this many people, is the right thing to do. Our community doesn't deserve this."

Hogsett added at the news conference the suspect "perpetrated an act of evil in our city."

"While we're still learning more about the circumstances that led to this incident, I want to be very clear about something, what happened this morning was not an act of simple gun violence," Hogsett said. "As tragic as a simple act of gun violence is, what happened (Sunday) morning was a mass murder."