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Riley Hospital seeing growing trend of kids and teens impacted by gun violence

Officials say they have seen 4 kids in its emergency room this year
Posted at 7:09 PM, Feb 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-22 19:09:45-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis doctors are concerned about a growing trend of kids and teens becoming victims of shootings.

This comes a day after police saya 4-year-old was shot while inside a home in a "targeted incident."

Neighbors in the area of the shooting said they are tired of seeing the violence.

"To know that a kid was injured in this whole process speaks to where we are heading as a city and more so as country," Antonie Richards said.

Richards wants people to be more present in their community.

"Making sure that one, we are protecting our neighborhoods, being a presence ... making sure that everybody is present to make sure that we hold everybody accountable," Richards said.

Neighbors told WRTV they heard multiple shots.

"There were probably about 10-12 gunshots. Then I heard a couple cars speeding off and then cops showed up two minutes later and then a bunch of screaming," Conner Beswick said.

Riley Trauma doctor, Dr. Matt Landman, said it's tragic.

"I think it was certainly heightened during the pandemic because nationally we saw a huge spike in firearm related injuries in pediatric injuries for pediatric patients," Landman said.

It's a trend that is supported by numbers from Riley Hospital for Children.

Officials say they have seen four kids with gunshot wound injuries in its emergency room this year.

Last year the number was 32.

In 2021, officials say they saw 38 kids, and in 2022 they saw 27.

It's not just the immediate injuries that are concerning to doctors.

"I think the most concerning would be the drive by shootings that we see — violence not necessarily directed at anyone individual," Landman said. "We see a lot of acute stress disorder, nightmares, flashbacks even in the tiniest of physical injuries."

IMPD said that the home shot into on Tuesday night was an Airbnb.

"There's somebody in our community who knows what happened [Tuesday night]. I implore upon that individual or individuals to come forward and provide information to our detectives," Lt. Shane Foley said at the scene. "A toddler and their family should not have to be in this type of situation."

AirBnb said they have temporarily deactivated the listing.

"We are horrified that such senseless gun violence could impact an innocent child. We have reached out to our Host, booking guest and the Indianapolis Metro Police Department to offer our support and better understand what prompted this attack. Out of an abundance of caution and for the privacy of our Host, we have temporarily deactivated this listing."