Incident sparks discussion on whether problem exists
Five teens were shot at 10 PM on St. Patrick’s Day in the downtown area of Indianapolis. The shooting was sparked by an altercation between two different groups of teens. However, two of the victims were not associated with the battling groups reports Fox 59 Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Force is currently on the hunt for a 16-year-old suspect. The police have taken in several people for questioning and have raided a home on the city’s north side. However, there have been no arrests.
Three of the victims have already been released from the hospital. Two remain in critical condition. One teen, a 14-year-old boy, is suffering from a bullet wound to the chest. The Indianapolis Star reports that the last victim, a 16-year-old girl, was wounded in the upper thigh and is still being hospitalized with a bleeding artery.
The incident has sparked discussion about the presence of unsupervised teens in the canal area of Indianapolis.
In a statement, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Paul Ciesielski relayed his concern that too many teens are roaming the city without supervision: “Parents just need to be more responsible and not use the Downtown as a baby sitter. Two of the victims were 14 years old. Why were they there at 10 p.m. without parental supervision?”
Area residents are not sure that there really is a teen problem in the area.
Brenda Bishop, who frequents the area, told the Indianapolis Star, “We don’t have a teen problem. We have a parenting problem.”
Will Sears, who lives in the area, believes that the issue isn’t that the area is a teen hangout. He believes that the area needs more security. He states, “The bottom line is, there needs to be more security and police presence during busy days and holidays on the canal. It is not accurate to say the canal is a thug hangout or a place where teens hang out late at night. That’s not true.”
The same area was the scene of teen shootings in the July of 2010 and on July 4, 2011.
The Ten Points Coalition met with members of the police force this morning to discuss area teen violence. Wish TV Indianapolis reports that the coalition will patrol the downtown area starting next weekend to help the police identify problem areas. They also hope to have recreation centers stay open later.