Teen shot to death on Indianapolis east side

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A 16-year-old boy who knew the teenage victim of a July 4 shooting downtown was also shot and killed at an apartment complex on the east side of Indianapolis Monday.

Sources told Eyewitness News Monday's victim was a cousin of 16-year-old Monquize Edwards, but Edwards mother said the two teenaged victims weren't "blood kin."

Monday's victim is also 16 years old. 

Officers were called to Hawthorne Place apartments at 32nd St. and Emerson Ave. just before 3:00 p.m. The male victim was found near a playground with apparent gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to sources, Monday's shooting is related to the downtown shooting death of Monquize Edwards.

Eyewitness News learned that Monday's victim received death threats on his Facebook page prior to the shooting. Two males knocked on his door and asked to have a conversation with the victim. The incident ended in shots fired and the teenager dead outside his home.

People in the neighborhood have given investigators several names to follow up on as well as the Facebook information that may help provide clues.

No one else was injured. Police haven't identified any suspects at this point, but witnesses described three black male suspects fleeing the area after the shooting.

There was talk on the street right after the fatal July Fourth shooting of more deadly violence. 

Regina Marsh, the director of Forest Manor Community Center, has known the family for several years and has even helped them deal with personal issues.

"I am doing everything I know to do to trying to steer young people in the right direction," said Marsh, who has extensive experience working with at-risk youth and their families. 

The Ten Point Coalition also played a huge role in dealing with the aftermath and anger following Edwards' murder. 

Addressing the problem

But there is little that more police or ministers could have done to prevent the murder of the 16-year-old, shot in the middle of the day on a playground with plenty of others around to see it happen.

Reverend Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition says "you have a lot of these young men out here. They are unemployed, they are not working, many of them have dropped out of school. They are easy targets for gangs and drug dealers. That is what I have been saying we have to address that problem."

Harrison is one of many joining the "I told you so" chorus that crime was getting worse and putting more police on the street was just a start.

In some ways, more police are coming to the street. Mayor Greg Ballard's plan will reassign 110 new cops that are currently being used for special assignments, but in reality, the Fraternal Order of Police says the re-assigned office will mean 10 "new cops" on the street. The officers are being taken from special patrols in crime hot spots and re-assigned to taking regular calls.

But the change means fewer special patrols in crime hot spots. That is not the kind of news that a working single mother of five children wants to hear as she is trying to explain to her children why police in her neighborhood again

The City-County Council voted a few weeks ago to give the police department more money for new cops. Ballard vetoed it and Monday night, a vote to override that veto failed. Some council members say the mayor's plan is not enough.

Detectives are asking anyone that may have seen or heard anything at the Hawthorne Place scene to call IMPD at 317.327.3475 or Crime Stoppers of Indiana at 317.262.TIPS (8477). Callers may also text "INDYCS" plus tip information to 274627 (CRIMES).

The victim's name is being withheld at this time.