Community leaders call for change after double homicide

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Community leaders are calling for change after Indianapolis saw its second and third homicide of 2017 on Wednesday.

Two men were shot and killed in what police are calling a botched robbery.

As police work to track the suspects down, community leaders are focusing their efforts toward preventing more violence.

Reverend Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition says people are fed up with the recent homicides.

“We have to address this, where people can be at work and not having to fear that someone may come in and rob them and ultimately kill them,” said Rev. Harrison.

He said change can happen, but it is going to take work.

“The police alone can not curb the pattern of violence in this city. It is going to take every last one of us working together,” said Rev. Harrison.

He spoke about the success the Ten Point Coalition has had in Butler-Tarkington, Crown Hill and the United Northwest Area.

He’s hoping other neighborhoods can follow their lead.

Harrison also wants to see more resources from the city go toward programs aimed at helping youth and ex-offenders.

“Our appeal is to the mayor and city county council. We have to put resources back in this neighborhood,” said Harrison.

He said there are already great front-line programs in high-crime neighborhoods, but people need to work together to collaborate and help them grow.

“Our problem is we have’t brought all of our tools and started working together as one city in tackling this violence, but I do think we have everything in place that we could be a model for the rest of the country in addressing this problem of urban gun violence,” said Harrison.

He’s not the only one asking for that. Several Indianapolis residents spent time downtown on Wednesday with the same message.

“What we need to do is support these groups that are down here trying to fight for peace. Groups that are down here trying to stop these murders,” said resident Denell Howard.

Some say that could be the key to making 2017 different.

“If we don’t do that then we may be looking at another year where we are going to break another homicide record,” said Rev. Harrison.

Harrison and other Ten Point Coalition leaders have planned a press conference to address the recent violence. That is scheduled for 11:45 Thursday morning.

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