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‘I’m tired of doing memorials. I’m tired of the candle vigils.’ | Community activists frustrated after another senseless shooting

Early Thursday morning, a shooting left a 12-year-old boy brain dead on the east side of Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — Those that call the far east side of Indianapolis home are frustrated and tired of the cycle of violence happening in the city.  

Thursday, IMPD was called to the northeast side for a shooting involving a 12-year-old boy who was taken to the hospital in critical condition. It happened before 3:40 a.m. in the 3400 block of North Leland Avenue.  

According to family, the shooting left Dayshawn Bills brain dead. He was removed from life support and passed away late Friday afternoon.. He was visiting his grandparents and playing video games with his family when he was shot.  

“I’m tired of doing memorials. I’m tired of the candle vigils. Why can’t these cameras be on, and we be acknowledging this 12-year-old doing something phenomenal,” said Antonio Patton, a community activist. “I have six kids of my own. I have a 15-year-old son. I don’t want to bury him. It was not meant for the children to be buried by their parents.” 

The Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (C.A.F.E.) wishes there was a simple solution to stop the gun violence.  

RELATED: Boy critically injured in overnight shooting on the northeast side

“There is not a solution anybody can give. If that was the case, it would’ve stopped years ago,” said Kendra Nowell, chief programs officer for C.A.F.E.  

These shootings are devastating for those knee-deep in the work every day, trying to help the community.  

“It’s just tough because there is collective grieving that continues to take place and there is not a lot of opportunity for healing because we keep having these tragedies,” said Cheria Caldwell, community engagement director for C.A.F.E. 

Services and programs are offered at the Far Eastside Neighborhood Center to help support and build the neighborhood. They are located at 38th and Post Road and provide wrap-around services for the community focusing on workplace development, financial advising and opportunity for youth. They also work on projects to celebrate and beautify the neighborhood.

They want to not just look at the problem on a surface level, but get down to the root of it.  

But to do that, Nowell said it’ll take more than just the far east side. 

“We need the entire city to stand together. Regardless of if it impacted you or if you live 20 miles away from where it happened. It’s the city and we all need to stand together,” she said.  

For those causing the grief, activists have a message for them.  

“You want to see some chaos, you keep messing with these fathers. You keep messing with our community. We are not going to take it. We are going to make sure our law enforcement knows where you lay your head and where you are,” Patton said.  

Community Alliance of the Far Eastside is open to ideas, support and resources from across the city, saying no one is immune to the violence. You can find more information about C.A.F.E and their programs here.

Anyone with information that could help in this case is asked to call the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477 (TIPS). 

Community resources

Tackling crime is a complex issue, but community groups are working day and night to target some of the root causes.

City leaders are working on programs this summer to offer more resources to the community. On Wednesday, an outreach event brought food boxes, employment information, and gun locks to people in the Mapleton-Fall Creek area.

Starting June 11, the city is bringing back its "Safe Summer" events, offering after-hours activities for young Hoosiers at no cost. Kids can enjoy art programs, sports, movie nights and more every Friday from 7 p.m.-10 p.m.

There's also Project Indy, which offers employment opportunities to young people across the city. You can make money, create connections and get valuable work experience.

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