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Two shot inside Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis, not believed to be connected to hate crime

jcc shooting.jpg
Posted at 2:31 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 12:47:25-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says two men were shot inside the Jewish Community Center's gym on Indianapolis' north side Saturday afternoon.

Police responded to the 6700 block of Hoover Road, where the JCC is located, around 2 p.m. Police say both victims were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

IMPD says they do not believe the shooting was religiously motivated or in any way connected with a hate crime, but that will be investigated due to the location.

“We are saddened, shocked and outraged at the incident that occurred in our facility. The safety and security of JCC members and guests is of utmost importance, and we will continue to review these protocols,” JCC CEO Eric Koehler said in a statement released Sunday.

Lieutenant Shane Foley says there is no ongoing threat at the Center and the shooting was "connected to a disturbance possibly related to a basketball game." The basketball game was part of open gym time at the facility.

"The safety and security of our members and guests is our top priority, and we are grateful for campus security and law enforcement’s quick response. Police say there is no ongoing threat at the JCC, on the Max & Mae Simon Jewish Community Campus or the surrounding area. The JCC will reopen for normal business hours at 7 am on Sunday, February 27," the JCC said in a press release Saturday.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office charged Latrell Williams on March 7 with attempted murder, battery by means of a deadly weapon, criminal recklessness, possession of a firearm on school property and possession of marijuana.

Anyone with information is asked to call Aggravated Assault detective Roberto Sanchez at 317-327-3475 or by e-mail at Roberto.Sanchez@indy.gov. Alternatively, they can call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS to remain anonymous.

Read the message the JCC sent to the community:

In the aftermath of yesterday's incident, we want to reassure you that your safety and security is our top priority. We recognize that the JCC is meant to be a safe harbor in the community, and that trust was taken advantage of. To that end, we want to reiterate the measures we have in place to ensure the JCC is a safe, welcoming place for all on a daily basis:

  • Our staff have been trained and tested in responding to any emergency. We have practiced how to react quickly and appropriately.
  • We retain off-duty IMPD officers as on-site security at all times.  
  • We work closely with the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis' Safe Indy [jewishindianapolis.org] security initiative, led by Community Security Director Grant Mendenhall (former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Indianapolis Division), which provides support to all of our community's Jewish organizations.  
  • Grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have allowed us to implement security tools including cameras, planter bollard vehicle barriers and bullet-resistant film on our windows. Even before yesterday's incident, we have been working with DHS on a grant to reconfigure the Welcome Desk entrance area, which should be in place within the next 12 months.

We are reviewing our policies around visitor entry, door access and other operations, and will continue to work with Safe Indy and local law enforcement to enhance our security protocols as appropriate. This situation, while unfortunate, is an opportunity for us to take action and reaffirm our commitment to providing a safe place for the Jewish and wider community to gather. For those who may need mental or emotional support, Victim Assistance is available through both IMPD and Jewish Family Services, in person or via phone.

  • IMPD Victim Assistance Counselors Heaven Ly Turk and Racheal Crouch may be reached at 317-327-3792 / Heaven.Turk@indy.gov and 317-327-4708 / Racheal.Crouch@indy.gov respectively.  
  • Jewish Family Services Executive Director Lori Moss may be reached at 317-259-6824 / lmoss@jfgi.org, and social worker Julie Sondhelm may be reached at 317-536-1476 / jsondhelm@jfgi.org

Many in the community have asked about how they can help. The best way you can support the JCC is by coming in as a program participant, member and user to help us continue to fulfill our mission of serving the community. If you would like to support the Safe Indy community security program directly, visit jewishindianapolis.org/safeindy. As a community center, the JCC is proud to be a place where people of all ages and faiths can come together for education, health and fitness and arts programming. In this context, the safety and security of our members and visitors remains paramount. We value your presence in our community, and more communication on next steps will be shared in the coming weeks. We are grateful for your support, patience and understanding. Thank you.

This is a developing story and will be updated.