Apr 2, 2024 - News

Latest mass shooting involving youth part of larger trend

Illustration of gun barrels getting longer forming an upward trending bar chart.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Seven children were wounded in a mass shooting downtown this weekend — the latest victims of Indianapolis' gun violence problem that's increasingly impacting the city's kids.

Why it matters: Last year set a new record for how many youths were killed by gun violence, but those killed are a fraction of the number of young people affected each year.

The big picture: The number of non-fatal shootings among young people has been on the rise since 2016, according to a recent analysis from assistant professor Lauren Magee with the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

What she found: Homicide rates among youth from infancy to 17 tripled from 3.3 deaths per 100,000 young people in 2016 to 9.9 per 100,000 in 2023.

  • Non-fatal shootings among youth are even more prevalent. For every homicide, there are three to four non-fatal shootings.

Caveat: While youth homicides increased last year, non-fatal shootings among Indianapolis children dropped after increasing for five years and reaching a high water mark in 2022.

Driving the news: Chaos erupted a little after 11pm Saturday at the intersection of Illinois and Maryland streets in the heart of downtown as gunfire rang out.

  • The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said officers were on patrol when they heard several shots being fired.
  • They found "a large group of juveniles," according to police, including six juveniles from gunshot wounds.
  • A seventh victim arrived at a local hospital as a walk-in, police said.

The victims were two 16-year-old males, one 16-year-old female, three 14-year-old females and one 12-year-old male.

The latest: IMPD said Monday it believes more than one shooter was involved.

  • Officials said detectives are following up on multiple leads, reviewing surveillance footage and applying for multiple search warrants, but the nature of those leads are "not being shared to protect the integrity of the investigation."

Go deeper: Indy's plan to stop youth violence

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