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Indy on Track for a Near-Record Murder Rate

If current trends continue,  2017 will mark a near-record year for murders in Indianapolis. 

So far there have been 107 murders in the capital city, 24 of which occurred last month.

That means the city has been averaging one death every 2.5 days.  If that trend continues, the city will see 146 murders by year’s end.   That’s just three short of last year’s record murder rate of 149.   There were 144 murders in 2015, 138 in 2014 and 127 in 2013.   The last time the murder rate was below one hundred was between 2009 and 2012, the first term of the Ballard administration.

“I don’t think much has really changed over the last five years.  We still see an increase in violence related to drug activity, robberies, and interpersonal conflicts.”  Rev. Charles Harrison. “We also see retaliation killings.  The way those two girls were killed on Goodlet, someone sending a message.”

IMPD Police Chief Brian Roach acknowledged that while September was a very violent month, he still thinks the city will finish below last year’s record rate.   The city has increased its number of staff working on homicides and also increased its outreach to impacted communities.  “If you can build a relationship so that the community is as vested in fighting crime as the police, then we can have some success,” Roach told Indy Politics.

Another disturbing statistic regarding the city’s murder rate is that end the past the percentage of murder victims and suspects was in the 70-80 percent range, this year those numbers range from 50-60 percent.

In the media briefing on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Chris Bailey noted that while the percentage of victims and suspects with criminal histories have dropped, he did not think the incidents were the results of random acts of violence.  “It is dramatically different than in years past, but there is some sort of relationship, illegal or otherwise,” Bailey said.  “They’re there to meet someone to buy dope, you owe me money, we get into a simple argument, and it turns to gunfire.”

The city is also seeing an increase in non-fatal shootings.  So far there have been 338 non-fatal shootings and 376 victims,  Last year there were 326 shootings and 365 victims.

“We see this nationally,”  Harrison noted.   “People are settling their conflicts with violence.”

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