Broad Ripple residents defend area’s level of safety

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Despite seven people being shot there over the weekend, people are coming to the defense of popular nightlife destination Broad Ripple.

It happened early Saturday morning along Broad Ripple Avenue. Police say two men bumped into each outside a bar. They started arguing and shots were fired. The bullets went flying into a crowd, hitting seven people.

IMPD increased its patrols in Broad Ripple over the weekend. Officers were even carrying pepper ball guns out in the open. But having extra officers marching up and down Broad Ripple Avenue in order to feel safe isn’t the image some people want for the neighborhood.

Broad Ripple resident Korey Newman said he is comfortable in the neighborhood he grew up around. He said Saturday’s shooting won’t change that.

“Really it is what it is. You can’t keep somebody from doing whatever they’re going to do,” he said.

Brittany Akinbola said she visits Broad Ripple less frequently now.

“I don’t think I would stop coming to Broad Ripple,” Akinbola said. “But, like I said, I don’t come out as often because, again, the overall environment.”

Akinbola said that environment isn’t during the day but at night when the area known for restaurants and shops is crawling with people hopping from bar to bar. It’s also around the time shots rang out last weekend. Seven people were hit. One of them is in critical condition.

“I feel like this recent event, although tragic, was essentially perpetrated by two cowards that didn’t see eye to eye and decided to pull weapons on one another,” said Justin McKeand, president of the Broad Ripple Village Association.

McKeand said although he feels the area is safe, he said too many people are visiting the avenue for the wrong reasons.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years is there’s a lot higher number of people who are loitering outside. Not necessarily going into the bars, not giving the businesses any business,” he said.

He said that problem packs the sidewalks which could lead to confrontations. One idea he hopes IMPD latches onto is shutting down Broad Ripple Avenue late at night, allowing only police, taxis and pedestrians to fill the street.

Newman isn’t sure that’s the answer, though.

“People are drinking, stumbling around. It’s not going to matter whether or not you shut down the avenue,” said Newman.

McKeand said the village association is putting together a committee that could meet with IMPD as early as Wednesday to talk about long-term solutions to keeping Broad Ripple safe.

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