Indianapolis police are investigating a mass shooting that left five people and a pregnant woman’s unborn baby dead and a community reeling from what the mayor called “an act of evil.”
“I want those responsible to know that the full might of local, state, and federal law enforcement are coming for them as I speak,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said.
“Coming for them today, coming for them tonight, coming for them tomorrow, and the day after that.”
Police said the mass murder unfolded before 4 a.m. on Sunday. Cops were called for a report of a boy with gunshot wounds on the street. As that victim was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, investigators went to a nearby home where they found the others shot to death.
The coroner later identified them as Kezzie and Raymond Childs, both 42; their children, Elijah, 18, Rita, 13, and Kiara Hawkins, 19. Hawkins was pregnant and was rushed to the hospital, but she and her unborn child did not survive, police said.
“Who took my family from me?” one anguished cousin of the Childs wrote on Facebook.
No motive was given for the worst shooting in the city in more than a decade, but authorities said it was not a random act.
Indianapolis set a record for homicides in 2020, recording 244 of them, a big jump after several years of increases—and shootings have also spiked, as they have in many other major cities.
The new year only brought more bloodshed, with three homicides in the first four days of 2021, and another rash of shootings sent seven people to the hospital earlier this weekend.
But officials said there was a fundamental difference between the typical shooting in the city and the scene they found in a home on Adams Street before dawn on Sunday.
“I want to be very clear about something: What happened this morning was not an act of simple gun violence,” the mayor said. “What happened this morning was a mass murder, a choice of an individual or individuals to bring—and I do not use these words lightly—terror to our community.”
As officials pleaded for tips that would lead them to the culprit, Hogsett said police would track down whether any guns involved in the incident were illegally and hold the sellers accountable and would also arrest anyone harboring the shooter or shooters.
“We will not stop until anyone complicit with this act of violence is held fully responsible,” he said.