Indianapolis experiences seven shootings in 8 hours

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Seven shootings, two of which were fatal, happened over a span of eight hours. It came after what IMPD Chief Bryan Roach described as a brief lull in gun violence.

"Last weekend...we've had some good days, and today it kind of fell apart," Roach said. "Some of them were on the radar, others were not. We had two teenagers, and that's always tragic and concerning."

Neither of the teens had life-threatening injuries.

"We're seeing a lot of violence around social media and people being upset with one another, especially among our young people, and they're choosing the wrong way to resolve their conflicts," he said.

The chief said IMPD is in the midst of expanding its beat-based policing and getting its Violence Reduction Program up and running, which includes hiring neighborhood peace makers.

Levar Mayers, who attended Community Day with his wife, Avryanna, and three children said of the recent shootings, "it's just not safe at all for families. It's crazy."

"You're scared to let your kids walk to the park because you're scared they're going to be shot," Avryanna said.

She also said that it's just not just up to police to stop the violence, the community has to come together to help.

She said that included "talking to your kids about guns and violence."

Nikki Saunders, who started a mentoring group for girls, agreed:

"You have the family dynamic that is broken," Saunders said. "This is not anything new we're dealing with; this is the norm. You have single parent households where maybe parents can't be involved because they're trying to keep care of family, so kids are kind of just out...They have no positive place to be sometimes in the neighborhood,so they're looking for attention, the inclusion of being part of something and that gets them involved in gangs and other things they should not be part of and that contributes to the crime."