Teen accidentally shot and killed downtown
For the third time this month, a teenager has been shot and killed.
But, we just learned-- this case is different. Investigators now say it was a deadly accident.
The shooting happened Sunday morning in the JW Marriott parking garage along West Washington Street. Eyewitness News was one of the first on the scene because when the call came in, we had a crew riding along with IMPD Officer Greg Burge documenting the increased police patrols this weekend.
Eyewitness News Reporter Richard Essex was on the scene as officers started their investigation.
"You get shot in the stomach, that's around your vitals, people die," said Officer Burge.
The victim, 17-year-old Darnell Franklin, did die a short time later at the hospital.
"If any individuals are going to terrorize this community, we will go after them systematically and aggressively and I can't articulate that enough and we won't stop until we find out who's responsible for this event," said Officer Chris Wilburn, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
But, after the initial anger, reaction and investigation, police discovered this shooting was accidental. According to police, Franklin and five friends and family members had just arrived downtown around 3am to meet some female friends. That's when one of the passengers reached down to pick up a gun off the floorboard of their car with his finger on the trigger. The gun went off-- accidentally shooting Franklin in the back.
But, the fact that half of the group was just 17 and out way past the city's 1am curfew is troubling to police.
"It's important for parents to maintain some level of awareness when it comes to where their children are and known associates. That seems to be the common denominator in these types of incidents," said Officer Wilburn.
Leading to dangerous situations that could otherwise be avoided.
That passenger who pulled the trigger is also a juvenile. He's been arrested and charged with reckless homicide and carrying a handgun without a license.
IMPD says this is a tragic end to an otherwise great weekend with no major violence reported. They recorded one Summer Celebration-related arrest on Friday and no curfew violations.