Far Eastside has reached 11 murders this year; It ended 2017 with 11
INDIANAPOLIS -- With the city’s most recent two murders over the weekend, Indianapolis’ Far Eastside Neighborhood reached a total of 11 for the year – tying its 2016 and 2017 year-end totals.
It’s a dubious milestone with more than half of the year remaining. Citywide, Indianapolis has seen 68 murders so far in 2018. As of this date in 2017, there had been 57.
No neighborhood has seen a larger share of that violence this year than the Far Eastside, though, which has outpaced even the historically violent Near Eastside and Martindale-Brightwood neighborhoods.
Most of that violence has taken place at apartment complexes along 38th Street, in an area bordered roughly by Post road to the West and German Church Road to the East. At the Towne & Terrace Apartments alone, IMPD has been called out on bodies three times this year – among them the body of 35-year-old Anthony Eldridge, who became the city’s latest homicide victim Sunday night.
There have been 413 police runs in the last 6 months within a half mile of the Towne & Terrace Apartments -- the site of Indy's most recent homicide. 217 were classified as "other." I broke down the remaining runs below: pic.twitter.com/IYZJvviYHU
— Jordan Fischer (@Jordan_RTV6) June 18, 2018
“This is horrible,” Pastor James Jackson said.
Jackson’s Fervent Prayer Church sits just across 38th Street from the Spanish Oaks Apartments where Saturday night’s victim, 21-year-old Tevon Lane, was killed. Three months earlier, 19-year-old Mauricio Beltran was killed in the same complex.
“In the city of Indianapolis, I can’t tell whether I am in a third-world country or at 42nd and Post Road,” Jackson said.
Jackson and others on the Far Eastside have called for the city to speed up efforts to tear down blighted properties like the Town & Terrace Apartments.
In March, a Marion County judge ordered the owners of the Oaktree Apartments, located just next to Town & Terrace, to tear the abandoned property down – the culmination of a process that began in February 2014.
City officials say the process of removing blighted properties all too often looks like the Oaktree fight.
"Those units [at Town & Terrace] are individually owned,” said Jeff Bennett, deputy mayor of community development. “The city has been over the years getting cite control over a number of units but we remain in court with a condominium association's legal representation and have been for a couple years now."
Meanwhile, homicides continue to mount in the surrounding neighborhood – mostly claiming victims just entering adulthood. Citywide, the average age for homicide victims this year is 34. On the Far Eastside, it’s 21.
Eight of the neighborhood’s 11 victims this year have been 25 or younger, including 1-year-old Malaysia Robson, who was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting in March.
Police arrested two men, 27-year-old Darrin Banks and 29-year-old Brian Palmer, for Malaysia’s murder. Investigators believe the shooting stemmed from a family dispute on social media and a fight at a nearby apartment complex.
Malaysia’s death is one of only three Far Eastside homicides that have resulted in an arrest so far this year. Citywide, IMPD has recorded just under a 40-percent homicide clearance rate in 2018. On the Far Eastside, the clearance rate for murders is just 27 percent.
Anyone with information that could help solve one of these homicides is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Your call may remain anonymous.