4 killed in shooting on Indy's far east side identified

Jalen Roberts (left) and Braxton Ford (Family photos)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Police are investigating a shooting that left four people dead on the far east side of Indianapolis.

An IMPD spokesperson said the shooting happened in the 4100 block of Shady Oak Drive, just southeast of 42nd Street & Mitthoeffer Road, around 10:25 p.m. Wednesday.

Kimari Hunt (Photo provided by family)

A vigil was held Thursday evening in honor of the four victims. Kimari Hunt’s family said she wanted to be a dentist.

“She was beautiful and she was just beautiful inside and out and she was just a humble person and she loved everybody,” said her aunt Dawn McDade. “I can’t believe our Kimari, our stink, our ‘Pyra’, I can’t believe she is gone. I cannot believe it.”

Metro officers had been dispatched to an apartment on Shady Oak after residents reported hearing the sounds of gunfire.

Police arrived to find four people deceased inside the home. Officers said it appeared all of them had been shot.

IMPD said Thursday the victims were three men and one woman all between the ages of 19 and 21.

They have been identified as:

  • Marcel Wills - 20
  • Braxton Ford - 21
  • Kimari Hunt - 21
  • Jalen Roberts - 19

Mayor Joe Hogsett and IMPD Chief Randal Taylor spoke about the crime.

"What we are confronted with is broken hearts and lost souls," Mayor Hogsett said.

"While IMPD is still gathering information, it is clear that last night our city experienced a tragedy, fueled by senseless violence. As Indianapolis awoke this morning with prayerful mourning for the families of these victims, our public safety community, and the loss of four young lives, it is my hope that we can turn this sadness and reflection into a community call to action.

That's because despite significant investments in policing and neighborhood anti-violence initiatives in recent years, time and time again we are confronted with the ripple effects created by a proliferation of guns, drugs, and poverty in our neighborhoods.

I share the frustrations and anger of so many this morning, but I remain confident that our path toward peace will require open hearts, not clenched fists. Let us resolve that these mindless acts are unconscionable but not unstoppable, and come together as one city to pursue the changes in hearts, minds, and policies that will make our community safer for all."

- Mayor Joe Hogsett

Hogsett went on to say the crime problem won't just be solved at city hall, but needs to happen in the communities themselves as well.

"Let us come together as one city to pursue the changes in hearts, minds and policies that will make our city safer for all its residents," Mayor Hogsett said.

Marcel Wills (Family)

"The tragedy we saw last night doesn't make any sense," Chief Taylor said. "We remain committed to holdling accoutnable those responsible for this unacceptable act. We know there are answers out there, and there are people who know what happened."

Taylor then asked for help from the community in solving the crime, asking anyone with information to come forward.

The Greater Indianapolis NAACP released a statement about the shooting reading in part:

"We send our condolences to the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, extended family and friends who are mourning today. We also stand ready to work with the city, the faith community, our schools, and other community organizations to solve the problems that lead to violence, so we never experience another day like today.”

The Baptist Minister's Alliance statement took a strong look at the challenges facing African-Americans in Indianapolis including poverty and being under-employed.

"As spiritual leaders in our city, we are disappointed but not shocked by what has occurred. When an area of the city is deprived of economic development and quality education, as citizens we cannot act surprised that such violence has taken place."

Police have not shared information about suspects or motive, but say the victims seem to have been targeted. Robbery is one of the things they are looking at.