Indiana Daily Student

7 dead after 24 hours of weekend gun violence in Indianapolis area

<p>A CrimeWatch sign stands on Tuxedo Street in Indianapolis a few blocks down from where a 21-year-old man was shot Monday. Seven people died from weekend gun violence in Indianapolis.</p>

A CrimeWatch sign stands on Tuxedo Street in Indianapolis a few blocks down from where a 21-year-old man was shot Monday. Seven people died from weekend gun violence in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — Seven people died from gunfire that occurred over the course of 24 violent hours this weekend.

The short shock of shootings began around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Around the same time a day later, the shootings were over, but the seventh victim — a 16-year-old boy in Beech Grove — didn’t die until Monday evening.

It is reported to be the most violent 24 hours in the city in five years. With the number of killings already climbing toward 40 so far in 2019, Indianapolis is on track for a fifth record-setting year for criminal homicides.  

DeAndra Dycus, founder of the Purpose 4 My Pain organization that supports people affected by gun violence, said the city felt especially quiet Monday as people tried to come to terms with what had happened.

“I think people are at a point where they don’t know what to say anymore,” she said.

Theron Rowley, 31, was found shot in the 1700 block of Bellefontaine Street, according to an IMPD release. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ezekiel Summers, 19, died around 11:15 p.m. Saturday in the 7100 block of Twin Oaks Drive, where a shot was reportedly fired into an apartment, police said. Summers was pronounced dead at the scene after he was found on the sidewalk.

Four people were shot in a bar around 1:10 a.m. Sunday on the 3600 block of Roosevelt Avenue.

A 42-year-old woman died in the shooting, according to police and the coroner’s office. She was pronounced dead at the scene but had yet to be identified by family as of Monday evening.

John Boxley, 76, died at the hospital after being transported from the bar. Another woman was also taken to the hospital and is in serious but stable condition.

The fourth victim, a man whom IMPD said is in stable condition, went to the hospital with a gunshot wound around 2:15 a.m. He told police he was shot in the vicinity of the bar.

Around 3:15 a.m. Sunday morning, a 16-year-old boy identified in a Facebook fundraiser as Xavier Weir was wounded when multiple shots were fired at his car. His car crashed and caught fire in the 400 block of Grovewood Drive in Beech Grove.

Weir died Monday. Police arrested a 16-year-old in connection with the shooting and are searching for a second suspect.

Leandre Lane, 17, died just before 3 p.m. Sunday on the 3400 block of North Franklin Road, police said. Lane and a friend were walking down the street when someone got out of a vehicle, shot him and left the scene.

The last fatal shooting, at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, happened at the 1000 block of North Tuxedo Street, police said. Tony Mason, 21, was declared dead at the scene.

CrimeWatch signs were posted on other blocks of Tuxedo and nearby streets, sometimes more than once per block.

“Good Neighbors Make Great Neighborhoods,” they read.

At a press event Monday afternoon, Mayor Joe Hogsett said the effects of gun violence were evident in Indianapolis.

“The effects ... will ripple out into our communities, preying on our neighbors' sense of safety," Hogsett said.

Rev. Charles Harrison is board president of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, an organization he said focuses on reducing levels of violence, especially among young men of color.

He said law enforcement called him to the scene where 17-year-old Lane was shot and killed to offer help.

“There’s a lot of anger and frustration and disbelief with that family right now,” Harrison said.

Dycus said she lives in the neighborhood where Lane died but didn’t know him personally. She said even those who aren’t victims of gun violence should feel compassion for the family that lost a child.

Dycus created Purpose 4 My Pain after her own son was shot. Her son survived but suffered debilitating injuries, and seeing gun violence always brings up difficult emotions.

“It’s kind of like retraumatizing,” Dycus said. “Every time it happens, it’s like, ‘Here we go again.’”

Dycus said she isn’t sure exactly what is causing so much violence in Indianapolis, but she thinks the issue is partially due to young people struggling to recover from trauma in their lives or difficulties in school they think they can’t overcome.

“I know one thing,” she said. “We’ve got to get more hope into our community so people aren’t losing hope, and when people get hopeless, they act out.”

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