INDIANAPOLIS — Last year was a record-breaking year for homicides in the City of Indianapolis, 245 Hoosiers will killed in homicides.
In May 2020, 25 people lost their lives in homicide incidents, including a 19-year-old woman who was killed over Memorial Day weekend.
“I think it’s important that we not get concerned about numbers," IMPD Lt. Shane Foley said. "That we identified for each number there’s a name.”
Ashayla Spearmon is Yulanda Spearmon’s youngest daughter.
“She had a beautiful smile, she probably got that from her mother,” Yulanda said with a laugh and a smile. She continued, “She was just a loving person. She never was, you never could see her mad.”
Yulanda said the family called her 19-year-old daughter, ‘Shayla.’
“We talked every single day. Every day, she talked to me and her sister, every single day,” Yulanda said.
It was no different the night of May 22, 2020.
Shayla’s mother said she FaceTimed her daughter before Shayla went with her friends to attend a candlelight vigil for someone she knew killed.
Then, she got a call from Shayla’s friend.
“I answered he was like, ‘Ms. Yulanda, your daughter just got shot in the head.’ And I couldn’t even remember after that,” Yulanda said.
According to IMPD, Shayla was shot in head at a vigil in the area of 38th Street and North Keystone Avenue. Officials said two friends then drove her blocks away to a Phillips 66 gas station at 34th Street and North Keystone Avenue.
"Shayla was more than just a number," Foley said. "She was an individual, she was a daughter, she was a sister, she was a friend."
IMPD added the friends stayed with Shayla as police arrived.
“It’s been rough, ya know? That’s my baby. It’s hard being without her knowing that her birthday is coming and her not being able to come home. We miss her,” Yulanda said.
Next month, her daughter would have turned 20-years-old.
Yulanda said she does not know why someone would do this to her daughter.
“It’s hurtful knowing that it was a parking lot full of people out there the day my daughter lost her life, and nobody will come forward,” Yulanda said. “I don't know anything. I just know that Memorial Day weekend she went to pay her respects for someone else's life and lost hers.”
Both Spearmon and IMPD are asking the community to come forward in order to bring the family closure.
“I don’t have any information on whether or not she was targeted," Foley said. "I think that’s where it’s essential we have witnesses come forward and tell us exactly what happened."
With recent community involvement in other investigations, police and the family are hopeful, others will come forward to help bring justice for Shayla.
“For the mothers out there that have lost their children, I just want to pray for each and every one that we all find justice.”
WRTV reached out to IMPD to ask about assistance programs for victims and witnesses. A spokesperson emailed this statement:
“IMPD and its partners do have resources available for victims and witnesses that wish to cooperate in a police investigation but are fearful for their safety or retaliation. These resources can be initiated by the detective investigating the case and vary based on the needs of individual. We want to eliminate barriers so that everyone with information about violent crimes can feel safe.
These resources are being used every day and IMPD has been overwhelmed by the support and cooperation of the Indianapolis community in our crime prevention efforts. Community cooperation continues to be essential in solving and reducing cases of violent crime in our city.”