Chief Hite: Homicide victims often have criminal past

(WISH Photo/Jason Harris)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite sent a clear message Friday morning: engage in criminal activity and you could become the city’s latest homicide victim.

Hite spoke with reporters in an informal setting, saying it was important to show this needs to be a community conversation. His discussion came after the city saw eight homicides in 15 hours.

Although Hite said it’s important to remember the well-being of the victims and their families, he re-iterated that many of the city’s homicide victims have criminal histories.

“These weren’t stranger-on-stranger crimes,” Hite said. “We want to send a strong message, that we know for a fact. If you change your life, it means saving your life. Gun crime will lead to jail or some cases, you will lose your life.”

In the neighborhood around the quadruple homicide on the city’s southeast side, neighbors said it is quiet. But others revealed there could be more going on.

“My parents seem to like him. It’s just, they could tell by the trucks coming and going… things weren’t kosher,” said neighbor Mike Simpson.

IMPD didn’t release any new details on the cases. To date this year, Indianapolis has had 26 people murdered. During roughly the same time last year, the city saw 20 murders.

IMPD officials also said about 71 percent of the city’s homicide victims have criminal histories, but that number could increase after investigating last night’s crimes.

“We need the community to assist us in the wake of these crimes. We know you know who they are. These are no strangers, and these weren’t random acts. These weren’t stranger on stranger crime. People know who are involved in these activities,” added Hite, urging those folks to come forward with information.

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