Mother of teen killed in downtown Indianapolis shooting makes plea

Monquize Edwards Sr.
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The mother of a 16-year-old boy shot and killed in downtown Indianapolis after the Fourth of July fireworks Thursday night has a plea for her son's killer.

Police found Monquize Edwards Sr. at Maryland and South Meridian Streets. He was among 40-50 teens who were hanging out on the street corner around 11:30 p.m. Thursday when an argument broke out, resulting in at least one gunshot. Once the crowd broke up, police officers found Edwards lying on the sidewalk.

Edwards was rushed to the hospital, where emergency room doctors tried to save him. His mother, Penika Edwards, says he died in surgery.

Edwards' mother got a telephone call about the shooting and now urges whoever shot her son to come forward.

"I miss him already, and whoever did this to my son needs to turn himself in. They took away my son. He has a six-month-old son who needs him. I talked to him in the last four to five hours. The last thing he said to me is, 'I love you, Momma.' It's the last thing he said to me," said Penika Edwards.

Monquize Edwards' mother told us he has been in trouble before but was well on his way to turning his life around. She also says he was excited about his new son, Monquize Edwards Jr.

Penika Edwards never imagined her son's trip downtown would cost him his life.

"Keep your kids at home. Find something else for them to do," she said.

Police haven't found Edwards' shooter and have turned to nearby cameras to learn what went down moments before the gunfire. Detectives say they desperately need to hear from witnesses, someone who the teenager's mother hopes will just come forward.

"Please turn yourself in. Give me some closure to this," she said.

Mayor Greg Ballard issued this statement Friday:

"It is unfortunate the actions of a few juveniles spoiled an otherwise peaceful celebration of our nation's independence by tens of thousands of people in downtown Indianapolis. I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Monquize Edwards. As the events of last night show us, the administration, public safety, faith-based groups and other community partners need to redouble our efforts to confront the problem of unsupervised youth roaming free downtown and the parents who allow it."

Indianapolis Metro homicide detectives would like to hear from anyone with clues about the shooter. Call the Crime Stoppers hotline anonymously at 262-TIPS.