May 9, 2023 - Politics

Broad Ripple shootings become political fodder

A window boarded up on the Gbloc apartment building. Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

A window is boarded up on the Gbloc apartment building in Broad Ripple. Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

Broad Ripple business owners and residents are looking for answers after two shootings over the weekend.

Catch up fast: One person was injured in a shooting early Sunday morning, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

  • Witnesses reported hearing dozens of gunshots just after 1am. Multiple cars and homes were hit with gunfire, including the Gbloc Lofts where an apartment window was still boarded up and glass littered the sidewalk near a parked SUV with two broken windows on Monday afternoon.
  • Another shooting occurred just blocks away early Friday morning, busting out the glass front of Usta Turkish Restaurant, which reopened Monday with its storefront boarded up.

Why it matters: Broad Ripple is one of the most popular and densely populated neighborhoods in the city.

What they're saying: Local business owner Bill Ficca said he thinks groups loitering in unattended parking lots are a large part of the problem, and he wants the city to work with landlords to police problem lots.

  • "What are the bars supposed to do?" said Ficca, who owns The Casba, The Vanguard, 317 Burger and 317 BBQ. "We spend six figures a year on security, we have wands, ID scanners."

The big picture: The shootings occurred along Guilford Avenue, a street lined with bars and restaurants, shops and luxury apartments.

  • The Broad Ripple Village Association told WTHR it was "infuriated" with the situation and called on Mayor Joe Hogsett, IMPD and other leaders to "take a stand against this violence and implement effective solutions."

Between the lines: Republicans are already using the incidents as evidence that Hogsett is failing on public safety.

  • Republican candidate Jefferson Shreve has framed the race as all about crime.
  • Marion County Republican Central Committee Chairman Joe Elsener issued a statement Monday, calling the shootings "just the latest incident in what is quickly becoming another historically violent year in our capital city."
  • "It is becoming clearer by the day that Mayor Hogsett's violence reduction plans aren't working," he said.

The other side: Mark Bode, spokesperson for Hogsett's office, responded by pointing to the mayor's $150 million gun violence reduction strategy, approved by a bipartisan group of councilors last year.

  • "While every resident should be encouraged by a continued downward trend in murders and other metrics this year, the past weekend is a reminder of how important it is that elected leaders, law enforcement and our neighborhoods continue to work together to implement these critical programs," Bode told Axios.

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