Homicide victim's family says people must come together

Leroy Barker was found murdered in his home Thursday.
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The family of one of the city's latest homicide victims is pleading the suspect to come forward and for residents to come together to help fight crime. 

"They took an uncle, a father, a son. He was everything. I wish whoever did this will come forward," said the niece of Leroy Barker.

Some of Barker's family believes the 50-year-old man was the innocent victim of someone who thought he had money. He was found dead alone in his house Thursday, one of eight homicide victims reported in less than 24 hours.

Barker's sisters said, "the violence is really bad out here now. You don't know how it feels until it happens to you. Now I'm in sorrow, hurting. Its rough, it's hard out here. Something needs to be done."

Get more police in troubled neighborhoods, the family says, and more Crime Watch too.

"The youth is out of control for one. They're on these drugs, these pills," Barker's sister said.

"They need their drugs," said Barker's niece. "They just need to go out there and get a job."

It is still unclear why Barker and the other seven victims died, but the trend, says Rev. Charles Harrison with the Ten Point Coalition.

"This underground economy is fueling the violence," Harrison said.

The drug economy, he says, is making victims of the innocent and those in the drug trade itself.

Indianapolis drug arrests went from 761 in 2012 to 900 in last year, while gun seizures went from 192 in 2012 to 374 in 2013. Still, violence continues, including last fall's string of violent home invasions.

"It's not going to be confined in the urban core. It's going to spread and this is an issue of quality of life," said Harrison.

One family's victim is every family's victim. One of Barker's sisters says "we just need to come together in one community and just start praying."