INDIANAPOLIS — Our nation has seen a dozen mass homicides in 2021, and three of them happened in Indianapolis.
The shooting that killed eight at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis Thursday is the 12th shooting that claimed four or more lives in our country, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
“This morning for the third time since January, our community woke up to news of senseless crime that will not soon leave our memory,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor said. “Is that acceptable for Indianapolis?”
“We've all been shaken by this heinous act,” Taylor said.
There have been 147 mass shootings in America in 2021, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Of those, 12 have resulted in the deaths of four or more people.
Deputy Chief Craig McCartt said a man parked his car and immediately started shooting outside the Fedex Ground facility on the southwest side about 11 p.m. Thursday.
The suspect, armed with a rifle, went into the facility and continued shooting. Eight people died, five more were injured before the suspect killed himself, McCart said.
The spree was over minutes after it began, McCartt said. It was over before the first officers arrived on the scene.
The investigation is in its early stages, officials said. They have not yet released the names of the victims or the suspect.
The other mass killings in Indianapolis are:
- On Jan. 21, Marion County prosecutors say Raymond Ronald Lee Childs III gunned down five people at a home in the 3500 block of Adams Street. Prosecutors charged Childs, 17, with murder and other crimes in the shootings that killed four of his family members, his brother's girlfriend, and her unborn child.
- On March 13, prosecutors say Malik Halfacre admitted to shooting and killing four people at a home in the 300 block of North Randolph Street. Halfacre, 25, was angry because his girlfriend refused to share a stimulus check, prosecutors say.
“I think it’s a condition of the human heart,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, leader of the non-profit 10 Point Coalition. “We are seeing people settling all of their beefs and conflicts with violence.”
Harrison’s coalition enlists ex-gang members, clergy, and others to walk in some inner-city neighborhoods and promote peace by talking to young people.
“What is frightening is (violence) is becoming the norm today, instead of the exception,” Harrison said, noting he doesn't believe new laws are the answer.
The city’s police department has investigated 69 criminal homicides so far this year, according to IMPD. By April 15, 2020, IMPD said its officers investigated 46 criminal homicides.
“I don’t think the violence we see in the city has shaken people, but maybe these mass killings will get people’s attention,” Harrison said.
“As a society, we have to deal with this inability of people to handle conflicts in a peaceful way.”
Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @vicryc.