Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Five teens shot in downtown Indianapolis shooting

Gunfire erupted at an Indianapolis, Indiana St. Patrick's Day celebration.  A gunman fired from a vehicle at a group of teens.  Five teens were hit:  two 14-year old males, a 16-year old female, and two 17-year old males.

From the article and news video:

Police do not believe the shooting was random, Ciesielski said.
"I think there was some relationship between the shooter and the victims," he told WTHR-TV.
Detectives believe the incident was the culmination of a lingering argument between two groups of people.
The shots were fired from a vehicle, and that car was then stopped by police, said Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub.
The gunfire sent people rushing from the area.
The names of the victims have not been released; however four of the victims were male and one was female.
Those shot were a 14-year-old male shot in the chest; another 14-year-old male shot in the face; a 16-year-old female shot in the leg; a 17-year-old male shot in the back; and another 17-year-old male shot in the leg. All the gunshot victims were black, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
The most serious injury appears to be that of the male who was shot in the chest. He has been upgraded to serious but stable condition at Riley Hospital for Children. The female with a gunshot wound to the upper thigh (which caused an arterial bleed) is also listed as serious but stable.
Ciesielski suggested that a contributing factor to Saturday night's incident was that too many teens are allowed to roam downtown streets unsupervised.
"Every Saturday, we have a lot of officers down there quite frankly babysitting the kids until they get on the bus and go home," he said. "It's really time the whole community step up. … It's not just a police problem. It's truly a community problem."
The area has been the scene of violence before. Two teens were shot along the canal last year after July 4 fireworks, and another was shot in July 2010.
 HERE is a follow-up interview with the Indy police chief, about the need for better parental involvement.
"Parents just need to be more responsible and not use the downtown as a baby sitter," he said after the latest shootings, which happened as crowds reveled along a downtown canal that had been dyed green for St. Patrick's Day.
"Two of the victims were 14 years old," Ciesielski said in an email. "Why were they there at 10 p.m. without parental supervision? Who are they hanging with while downtown?"
Bill Glick, director of the Indiana Juvenile Justice Task Force, said another piece of the problem was the availability of guns. Teens can get hold of guns at home or buy them on the street, he said.
"Our kids tell us it's no problem getting a gun," he said. "I ask kids if I drop you off in downtown Indianapolis, how long would it take to find someone to help you get a gun? They say probably a couple of hours."
Glick added that many teens seem to be desensitized to violence.
"They somehow seem to be inured to the fact that if you shoot a gun it's not like a video game, someone really gets hurt," he said.
UPDATE (3/24/12):  A 16-year old boy has been arrested for the shooting.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

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