Violence leaves painful, lasting mark on Indianapolis families

The man shot in the 2300 block of North Kenwood was hit by random gunfire and will live.
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Indianapolis is recovering from a night of violence. The city had four shootings in two hours. That violence left at least one person dead and three wounded.

The shootings began on Forest Manor Avenue. One victim, 55-year-old Jerome Gray, died after another shooting on North Emerson. There was a third shooting on North Edmondson and the fourth incident took place on North Kenwood.

The violence leaves a lasting and deeply painful mark on families.

The man shot in the 2300 block of North Kenwood was hit by random gunfire and will live. But not every shooting victim is so fortunate. We talked to the father of one who says this violence has to stop.

John Whitfield is especially sensitive to the news of shootings in the city. He lost his son to gun violence in July.

Joshua Aubrey and his best friend were found shot to death in a house in the 2800 block of North Capitol on July 6. More than ten weeks later, the pain is still as fresh as it was on day one.

"As a father, the pain that I'm enduring is an everyday thing," said Whitfield.

But instead of grieving in silence, John Whitfield decided to turn his sorrow into encouragement for others. He's now joined the Ten Point Coalition's faith patrols and walks the streets sharing his story in hopes of causing some contemplating violence to think twice.

The consequences of their violence and the residue left over is how it affects the families.

"It hits deep. It cuts deep," said Whitfield.

Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition spoke about the violence on Eyewitness News at Noon. He says his group is planning more patrols on weekday nights to address the increase in crime.

Rev. Harrison was called out to the scene at E. 39th St. and N. Emerson on Wednesday night, and he says the area is no stranger to violent crime.

"There's normally a lot of activity in this area. We have several apartment complexes in this area and you see a lot of criminal activity normally taking place - with the high unemployment, people are out here selling drugs, hustling, trying to make money. Normally when we come in here, there are arguments taking place between individuals where we have to come in and be the peacemakers," he said.

While weekend nights have traditionally been the nights that see the most violence, Rev. Harrison said, "This year, we have seen an uptick in violence on Wednesday nights. Particularly, Wednesday nights, we have had more homicides than any other night. We feel like - the Ten Point Coalition - that if we're really gonna get a grip on this violence, we need to be out on Wednesday nights, Thursday nights, Friday nights and Saturday nights, because if anything is going on in the streets, then we get a sense and a feel for it. We do a lot of conflict out here on the streets when we're engaging people."