Three teens shot and killed in three weeks on Indy's north side

In the last three weeks, there have been three fatal shootings involving teenagers on the north side of Indianapolis.

The latest happened Sunday night when 18-year-old Darrius Taylor was shot and killed on Morningstar Drive. On April 21, 19-year-old Donald Allender III was killed on Evanston Avenue. Just days before, 17-year-old Kevin Cheeks was shot and killed on Adams Street.

Indy's Ten Point Coalition knows their job gets tougher in the summer, when kids have less to do and more reason to be outside.

"Those of us who do this kind of work every day are concerned about the summer and the warm weather coming. We really believe we have to give these kids alternatives to being out here in the streets," said Ten Point Coalition leader Reverend Charles Harrison.

Harrison says even in the last month, he has seen an alarming shift. What used to be late 20s is getting younger and younger.

"That teenage age, those kids really getting involved in a lot of criminal activity in the street that's leading to younger people being killed," Harrison said. "It just breaks my heart to see all of this and go to a homicide scene and see mothers and fathers and family members grieving over a young person that shouldn't be laying out there dead or found in a house dead."

At the heart of so many of these crimes are common denominators: drugs, fast cash and poverty and kids dropping out of school. Harrison calls it the underground economy, swallowing kids before they reach adulthood.

"It's just a combination of a lot of things, similar to a lot of the factors you see in Baltimore, even here in Indianapolis," Harrison said. "We have to get these kids, young people out of the streets out of the environment and criminal activity and put some legal money in their pockets so they are not out here trying to do illegal things or getting connected to the wrong people that might mean their own demise."

Part of the Ten Point Coalition's plan involves connecting young people to jobs where they can get money legally, instead of connecting with criminals. Harrison just met with IMPD Chief Rick Hite to talk about how they can find summer jobs for at-risk youth.