Police, clergy hit streets after violent April start

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There was a strong show of force Friday night as people become more concerned about neighborhood violence in Indianapolis.

Police officers joined members of the community and took to the streets to make their neighborhoods safer.

The violence is in an alley on the near north side of Indianapolis, but the answers to violence may be here, too. Pastors peddled words over weapons in a place where drug peddlers prey.

There have been seven shootings in five days. A police officer was wounded and a suspect killed in one shooting this week, followed by two shootings Thursday and two more Friday.

"So God, we are praying right now for a season of peace," said Rev. Charles Harrison at a prayer meeting for groups and neighbors wanting to help calm the streets before the temps and the tensions get too high.

Also praying for a more violence-free April was the parents of murdered Indianapolis police officer David Moore, who was killed last year.

"It's not enough. I can tell you that, but it's the beginning," said Moore's father, Spencer. "You cannot live through that type of violence and the impact it has on you without having a good conversation with God."

From prayer to pavement, they will do these walks all summer to defuse shootings, which are often in retaliation for other shootings.

When we walked with pastors down an alley near 30th and Illinois Friday, some of the residents they spoke with didn't want a news camera around. But pastors later said the residents "just shared with us, in a sense, they don't like what's going on. They want solutions, but they're not for playing around. They're for people that are real."

"They told us it's about jobs, jobs, jobs," said Pastor Richard Willoughby.

"That's why they won't lay down the guns and they won't lay down the drugs, because they're out here selling drugs to make ends meet," Harrison said.