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Indy teens gather for 'Barbershop Talks' in wake of double shooting that left two boys dead

Posted at 11:49 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 14:54:01-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Community leaders once again gathered Indianapolis teens at a local barbershop to talk about the issues they're facing, this time in the wake of a shooting that left two teen boys dead.  

It has been an emotional 24 hours for those who knew the boys, 14-year-old Da'Vonta White and 15-year-old Isaiah Jackson — especially for their families.

"She just kept saying, 'My son was 14.' It's been playing in my head all day," said Della Brown with nonprofit Cease Fire Indy as she recalled the words of Da'Vonta's mother.

"We were with one of the mothers today. She was laying on the ground praying and screaming," said Brown.  

The victims' families and metro police are begging the community to come forward with information about what happened at Dubarry Park Monday night.  

Many young people discussed the recent tragedy at a barbershop on the city's east side on Tuesday as part of a 10-month initiative known as "Barbershop Talks".

Organizers hope the forums lead to progress and solutions and help bridge a gap.

"We have two kids that are not coming back and what shocks me is the numbness. The numbness that when I pan the kids, they are unphased," said organizer Antonio Patton.

Tuesday night's talk was the follow-up to last week's discussion about social media and its connection with crime in the community. With the pain of the teens’ deaths plaguing the city, the talk sparked an uncomfortable question: what do we do now?

"I really don't think that y'all can change anything. We're going to have to learn for ourselves. Learn the hard way. I don't know how long it's going to take, but at this point, we're going to have to learn the hard way," said James Holder, a 17-year-old attending Barbershop Talk.  

Patton responded, "I'm never ever going to buy into that y'all can't change. I'm never buying that. And I'm not going to eat that experience is the greatest teacher because I don't have to get shot to know that I don't want to get shot."  

Another teen attending the talk, 13-year-old Chris Henderson, shared his thoughts.

"I wanted to grow up to be a gang banger but thank the Lord I got a 94-year-old grandma who actually broke that down to me and explained to me what that is and that's not what I want to be," he said.

"Let's reset our kids, let’s reset our kids," said Patton.