13-year-old in fatal shooting ID’d as Belzer Middle School student

Indianapolis police say 13-year-old Matthew McGee was shot in the head just before a Long John Silver's restaurant closed at 10 p.m. Sept. 9, 2017. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WISH) — A coroner has identified a 13-year-old boy who was one of four people fatally shot in Indianapolis over the weekend.

The Marion County coroner’s office said Monday that Matthew McGee died in Saturday night’s shooting in the parking lot of the Long John Silver’s restaurant just south of Castleton Square Mall in the 6000 block of 82nd Street.

Indianapolis police say the boy was shot in the head just before the restaurant closed at 10 p.m. The shooting prompted a nearby movie theater to be briefly placed on lockdown.

Police have released no details about who may have killed McGee or the possible motive in his slaying.

McGee was an eighth-grader at Belzer Middle School and had formerly attended Brook Park Elementary.

Belzer Principal Andy Harsha issued this statement Monday afternoon through Dana Altemeyer, the district’s communications coordinator:

Matthew’s Belzer family is devastated to learn this news and our hearts and prayers go out to his family following this tragic event. We are prepared to support our school community fully as they process and grieve this senseless loss of life.”

Families and staff were notified Sunday, and counselors at the school were available to support students and staff.

Superintendent Shawn A. Smith also issued a statement through Altemeyer:

Our children are the most valuable asset we have in our community. This type of senseless violence is unacceptable. Together, we need to unite and stop these horrible acts of violence against our children.”

McGee was one of four people fatally shot over the weekend in Indianapolis. An 18-year-old man and a 23-year-old man died in a Sunday shooting and police say another 18-year-old man died Saturday in a third shooting.

Police say the night of the shooting, there were a number of teens nearby, and they’re hoping to gain more information about the incident from those witnesses.

While police work on the case, a local judge is offering a free conference for teens, with hopes that he can keep the same thing from happening to another young person.

“You should be able to go to Castleton Square Mall and come home without being killed,” said Judge Gaither, who’s been a judge in juvenile court for more than 22 years.

His walls are littered with student successes, as well as those who didn’t make it out.

“These kids are hurting, and they want attention ,and they want what parents are not doing. We don’t have enough courageous parents in our community. Too many parents are scared of the children; too many parents want to be friends,” said Gaither.

In October, Gaither is doing something more to give local teens a chance. During a conference, teenage boys and girls will have the chance to learn from mentors, express themselves and learn about the pitfalls of making the wrong choices.

The goal is to prevent another tragedy like the death of 13-year-old Matthew McGee.

The free event will take place over two weekends: the boys’ conference on Oct. 14, and the girls’ conference on Oct. 21, both at Warren Central High School.

For more information on the boys’ conference, click here. For more information on the girls’ conference, click here.