Police respond to neighborhood’s concern over violence

(WISH Photo/Kevin Ratermann)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Ten days after IMPD Officer Perry Renn was shot and killed, two more IMPD officers had yet another gun pointed at them.

This time it was just northwest of downtown, at Harding and Pruitt streets. Police say the officers were doing surveillance in the area after seeing an uptick in crime.

The officers were in an unmarked car when they say they saw a man fire a gun at a car with four people inside.

Officers say they got out of their car and identified themselves. But, 18-year-old Javon Wilkins turned toward them with a gun in his hand.

That’s when one of the officers opened fire, shooting Wilkins three times. He’s now in critical condition at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.

Family members tell 24-Hour News 8 Wilkins may not make it. They’re not allowed to see him either. But, police say it’s what can happen if they see you point a gun at an officer.

Officers also want everyone to know, pulling that trigger is the last thing they want to have to do.

Recent crime in 46208 dictated that extra officers be patrolling the area. Uniformed officers were sitting in an unmarked patrol car trying to get to the bottom of the recent violence.

“We knew where we wanted to be. I’m sure no one expected or wanted it to end this way,” said IMPD Lt. Chris Bailey.

Police say when they got out of their unmarked car and announced who they were they were left with no choice when they saw a gun aimed at them.

“We have officers never get up and say, ‘You know, today is the day that I’m going to go up and take someone’s life,'” said Bailey.

24-Hour News 8 canvassed the neighborhood on Tuesday and was approached by Wilkins’ cousin Chris McGraw. He’s angry.

“It’s not all of us. But, at the rate it’s going and how it’s looking, it will be all of us,” he said.

When asked if he wanted to be a part of the solution, instead of getting angry at police McGraw said, “Yeah. But, in the same sense, I’m only human.”

Wilkins doesn’t have an adult criminal history. But, his juvenile record shows he’s no stranger to police arrested for drugs and resisting arrest.

Two of the officers in the area Monday night knew the dangers. They were shot in the line of duty just two months ago.

“And yet they were out again. In a neighborhood where they know has issues. Specifically in an area where they knew in the last two nights there were shots fired in that area and a person shot,” said Bailey.

Where at first glance it appears these are two sides fighting against each other, a deeper look shows, they really want the same thing.

“Yeah. Hell yeah I wish it would end,” McGraw said acknowledging he’s sick of all the violence.

“I can’t speak directly to any comments that he made. What I can say in general is that everyone in the community is invited to be a part of the solution,” said Bailey.

McGraw said that when his emotions die down and some time passes hopefully he can look at what happened with a more opened mind.

“Honestly, yeah. Honestly I do. I know I will. Because I pray. And I believe in God. But, right now, I’m just angry,” McGraw said.

Whether that anger is warranted or not it is something that police officers come face to face with on a daily basis.

According to IMPD’s crime view map, police have been called to the 46208 zip code a lot lately. In just the last ten days, police have responded to 17 reports of theft, nine cases of vandalism, seven battery reports, including one against a police officer, seven burglaries and two death investigations.

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