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Community activist says niece's homicide is result of domestic abuse

Jerica Mitchell was killed on East Troy Avenue early Wednesday.

INDIANAPOLIS — A local community activist said his niece was one of four people killed in three shootings within a matter of hours overnight Tuesday. He said she died in an incident of domestic violence.

Antonio Patton is no stranger to 13News cameras, advocating for victims of violence.

"The blood that was in that car they found, was my blood, my family, my baby's, and it's totally different," Patton said.

This time, it's his family in mourning. 

"I said, 'Hey, what's going on?' she said, 'That guy killed my niece,'" Patton said.

Patton said 26-year-old Jerica Mitchell is the city's latest homicide victim. She died early Wednesday on East Troy Avenue.

"Amazingly bright, very, very loving and super smart," Patton said.

Credit: Antonio Patton
Jerica Mitchell

Patton blames his niece's death on domestic abuse. 

"I was supposed to move her today. I was supposed to go get her today. We were texting. She was telling me, 'I've got to delete these so he don't find them,'" he said.

IMPD says domestic violence is on the rise. 

"For everyone that has someone that is even remotely close, get them out now," Patton said.

RELATED: Deadly shooting on Oxford Street marks Indianapolis' 200th homicide

Mitchell's death marks Indianapolis' 206th homicide this year. Homicides in the city have more than doubled in the past decade. 

"We as an agency, we as a city, are trying to combat this issue the best way that we know how," IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams said.

Credit: WTHR graphic

Adams said there's not one clear reason why. 

"I think it's three areas that we have to look collectively to address this issue: community, government and the criminal justice system," he said.

Police are leaning on their community partners, data, a witness assistance program and the department's violent crimes reduction teams. 

"Those individuals that have two or three touches with the criminal justice system that we really need to try to reach, and so that's what I think you'll see us double down on," Adams said.

Police also need the community's help.

"This is not solely a law enforcement problem. You cannot police the heart. Unfortunately, we look at police to solve the issue, and we will continue to work to do that, finding individuals who are creating terror in our community, but at the same time, there are individuals that need help." Adams said.

Metro police have not released any suspect information in Mitchell's death.