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Indianapolis leaders working to curb city's violence streak

Shootings involving four people Friday are the latest in a spate of crimes that have shaken many around the Circle City in recent months.

INDIANAPOLIS — A 16-year-old boy is dead after a shooting on the south side of Indianapolis Friday afternoon. 

According to Indianapolis police, the teen was found outside of an apartment complex near Meridian Street and Epler Avenue and later died at a hospital.  

Police responded to three shootings Friday within just three hours of each other, sending four people to hospitals. 

It's the latest in a streak of violent crime that has shaken many around the Circle City in recent months.

"Any incident of gun violence is unacceptable in my mind," said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. 

RELATED: 16-year-old dies after shooting on Indy's south side

Sitting down with 13News, Hogsett said he understands why people are worried about Indy's violent streak.

"To those who are concerned, with good reason, we are making progress. It's not an issue that occurred overnight, so it's not going to be resolved overnight. In fact, the truth is the city of Indianapolis, the homicide rate has been going steadily upward really for the last 10 to 15 years," Hogsett said. 

The city is taking steps to turn that trend around, Hogsett said, in part by getting more officers on the streets. Raising pay and offering sign-on bonuses, the city is working to fill 200 open IMPD positions.

RELATED: 2 wounded in east Indianapolis shooting

But Hogsett stressed that's only part of the answer.

"The police department is reactive in nature," Hogsett said. "What we want are neighbors - who know their neighborhoods better than anyone else - to become actively involved in helping stop the crime before it happens."

In 2021, he announced a violence reduction plan that included $45 million for community-based neighborhood crime prevention steps. Earlier this week, the city distributed $300,000 to groups working to combat crime before it happens.

"$45 million over a three-year period of time dedicated to community-oriented neighborhood groups that hopefully will go a long way toward preventing the violence from happening in the first place. More cops, more commitment and more neighbors getting involved in keeping their neighborhoods safe," Hogsett said. 

Cutting down on violent crime is no easy feat, Hogsett said, but he believes it's critical work for the city that can help save lives.

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