Suspect arrested in Indianapolis shooting that left 5 people and an unborn child dead

Justin L. Mack and Binghui Huang, Indianapolis Star
·3 min read

INDIANAPOLIS – Police arrested a juvenile suspect in connection to a weekend shooting that left five people and an unborn child dead.

Officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did not release the name and photo of the suspect because the individual is not an adult. It is unclear how old the suspect is.

Investigators said they do not believe any other suspects were involved.

“Yesterday, we promised swift justice for this heinous act. Today, we delivered on that promise," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said in a statement. "While removing the alleged perpetrator of yesterday's mass murder from our neighborhoods does not bring back the lives senselessly lost, hopefully, it will bring us one step closer to healing as a community."

Sunday, Taylor said the incident was the largest mass casualty shooting the city has seen in more than a decade.

Kezzie Childs, 42, Raymond Childs, 42, Elijah Childs, 18, Rita Childs, 13, Kiara Hawkins, 19, and Hawkins' unborn child were pronounced dead after being found in a home on Adams Street, according to Sgt. Shane Foley of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Investigators were led to the grisly crime scene around 4 a.m. local time Sunday after finding a juvenile male, whose age police didn't disclose, suffering from gunshot wounds footsteps away.

The boy may have been wounded in the incident. If so, he is the only recorded survivor.

Law enforcement are looking into whether the shooter illegally obtained the guns and will investigate who is responsible for supplying them, Mayor Joe Hogsett said during a public address from IMPD's North District headquarters.

Indianapolis police investigate the scene of a shooting that left multiple people dead on Jan. 24, 2021.
Indianapolis police investigate the scene of a shooting that left multiple people dead on Jan. 24, 2021.

The shooting was one of nearly a half-dozen across the city in a span of less than five hours that ended in at least seven people hospitalized in addition to those killed.

Weeks ago, Indianapolis recorded the most violent year in the city's history, which officials attributed to the desperation that plagued communities struggling even before the pandemic.

"For a decade now, the city of Indianapolis has engaged in a community conversation as to how we should best address the deadly confluence of guns, substance abuse and poverty that has seen our city's homicide rate rise to historic highs," Hogsett said. City officials said the mass shooting is part of the violence endemic to communities across America but also one that rose to a new level of moral depravity.

"What we saw this morning was a different kind of evil," Taylor said Sunday.

"I myself am heartbroken," he said. "For the lives that have been taken too soon, for the young life that's forever been changed and for the life that never got the chance to start, for the neighborhood left to pick up the pieces in the wake of unprecedented violence."

When asked whether any policy could have prevented the mass killing, Hogsett said the city's programs aim to reduce crimes of passion, self-defense and desperation.

"Not that any crime of gun violence is acceptable under any circumstance, but when it is a crime of passion or retaliation, that is one thing," he said. "It is a completely different thing for a trigger puller, or perhaps several trigger pullers, to walk into one home and kill six people. And that is why we're here today."

Hogsett said police have the support of federal authorities on the case.

Shardae Hoskins, a member of the police department's Violence Reduction Team, said people in the neighborhood woke up scared and are tired of the violence in their streets.

To reduce violence, she said, the city not only has to change the way people handle conflict but also fix the systemic issues of poverty that drive much of the crime.

Follow reporters Justin L. Mack and Binghui Huang on Twitter: @justinlmack, @Binghuihuang

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This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indianapolis shooting: 5 people, unborn child killed; suspect arrested