Ten people shot in three downtown shootings - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Ten people shot in three downtown shootings

The shootings sent crowds running through the streets of downtown. The shootings sent crowds running through the streets of downtown.
Police and medics tend to one of the victims of Saturday's shooting. Police and medics tend to one of the victims of Saturday's shooting.

Indianapolis - As many as ten people were shot in three separate incidents downtown Saturday night.

The first shooting occurred shortly after 9:30 p.m. Saturday on Maryland Street near Illinois. Numerous shots were reported near the intersection, outside Circle Centre Mall. Police scanner traffic indicated a potential suspect running on Maryland Street after the shooting. Five people were wounded in the shooting and police have a person in custody.

Minutes later, another shooting was reported over police radio at Georgia and Meridian Streets. Metro Police Lt. Jeff Duhamell said three people were shot in the second shooting.

According to radio traffic, the shooting victims include a 16-year-old who was shot in the buttocks, an 18-year-old shot in the lower leg and a 10-year-old who was shot in the thigh. Lt. Duhamell said none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. They know gunfire began near Illinois and Maryland and believe the same shooter fired a few minutes later.

"The shooter left that scene and was running away and, we believe, ran into the victim he intended to shoot and that was on Georgia and shot that gentleman twice in the legs," said Public Safety Director Dr. Frank Straub.

Large crowds of people downtown for various events surrounding Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration ran through the streets when the gunshots sounded.

"Anytime you start firing that many rounds in that close proximity, with that many people, we are very fortunate we are not dealing with a homicide," Lt. Duhamell said.

Seven victims were transported to area hospitals, two in serious but stable condition. The eighth victim was treated at the scene and released.

"We've had minor problems, but tonight is just a very unfortunate situation. You're talking thousands and thousands of people down here and just two or three people cause all this problem," Lt. Duhamell said. "Things were going real smooth, then the unfortunate situation happened."

Officers pulled over one car and recovered an assault rifle and a handgun, though police say the occupants of that car were not involved in the shootings.

Police are moving traffic out of parts of downtown, especially away from the shooting area.

"We've got a crime scene there, it's going to take awhile to process," said Lt. Duhamell. "We just want to find out who's responsible for this and put them behind bars where they belong."

Metro police had 390 officers positioned downtown Saturday night, mostly to enforce curfew laws. The Indiana State Police also had 60 troopers on patrol, Lt. Duhamell said.

"Well, we have to throw it back out there, we have to throw it, we have to say it is our kids, you know, the police department did their jobs tonight," said minister Norvel Terry. "Our kids, they have just lost their minds. Let's keep it real."

The shooting occurred just weeks after an IMPD officer was fired for beating 15-year-old Brandon Johnson, who is black, during an arrest. Police and religious leaders have called for a better relationship between officers and the community. 

"Your kids are coming out here with these guns, they are coming to downtown Indianapolis, shooting up the city like it is the OK Corral and if you think that is right and you are blaming the police for what the police [are] doing, something is not right," Terry said. "It starts with the young kids. Everybody wants to blame the police. It ain't the police, it is the kids."

Expo president statement

Indiana Black Expo President and CEO Tanya Bell released the following statement late Saturday night:

"As our community celebrates 40 years of having one of the largest African-American events in the country, we are saddened by the reported incidents that occurred downtown this evening. Fortunately, none of the incidents resulted in life threatening injuries. We are still waiting to hear if the incidents were related and who was involved. The incidents were isolated from the IBE events that were planned by IBE and its countless number of volunteers and numerous partners. We are working closely with Public Safety Director, Frank Straub and the Mayor's Office to understand all of the facts and circumstances involved."

Third shooting reported

A third shooting downtown was reported around 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Illinois and Market streets.

The victim of that shooting, 15-year-old Dejuan Stokes, was shot in the knee. He underwent surgery Sunday afternoon. His father told Eyewitness News Stokes was on his way home to make the city's 1 a.m. curfew.

"He told me he was headed to the bus stop. He heard shots and he started running," Dewayne Stokes said. "He has no idea who did it."

Stokes was the tenth victim shot Saturday night after gunfire erupted three times in a span of two hours.

"I thought it would be safe, but so much stuff goes on every year down there," Stokes said.

Stokes does not believe his son was targeted in the shooting.

"No, just something that happened," he said.

Explosion investigated

Police were also investigating the report of an explosion near Washington and Meridian around 10:25 p.m. Saturday. However, Lt. Duhamell said there was nothing to that report.

Officers arrested one man after a chase down an alley off Georgia Street. Police say that man, who was seen smoking marijuana with friends, had a gun.

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