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Indianapolis police arrested a 17-year-old suspect over the weekend for the Sunday mass murder of five people, including several members of one family and a pregnant 19-year-old woman.
“Yesterday, we promised swift justice for this heinous act. Today, we delivered on that promise,” Chief Randal Taylor said in a Monday statement announcing the arrest. “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.”
Police were dispatched Sunday morning just before 4 a.m. to the 3300 block of E. 36th Street after receiving a report of a person being shot. There they discovered a juvenile male with “apparent gunshot wounds.”
The young man was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. Less than an hour later, police received information that led them to another residence where they found five people, including pregnant 19-year-old Kiara Hawkins, shot to death, Taylor said at a press conference, according to People.
Hawkins was quickly transported to a local hospital but “despite the best life-saving efforts by medical staff, both the female and the unborn child did not survive,” authorities said. The other victims were identified as Kezzie Childs, 42; Raymond Childs, 42; Elijah Childs, 18; and Rita Childs, 13.
Taylor described the killings as the largest mass casualty shooting the city has seen in more than a decade, according to The Indianapolis Star.
On Monday, authorities identified and arrested a suspect in the case. A spokesperson for the police department told Oxygen.com the suspect is a 17-year-old male but is not the same juvenile who was found shot Sunday morning along E. 36th Street.
The spokesperson declined to say whether authorities believed the two incidents were related. The suspect’s name and photo are not being released at this time since they are underage, police said.
The spokesperson also declined to say whether the suspect is related to the victims. However, local station WXIN is reporting that the suspect is a member of the Childs family.
Police have said they do not believe the shooting was random.
“Just this last week, we talked about investments that we’re making, resources we’re devoting to stopping crime and violence here in Indianapolis,” Taylor said during the Sunday press conference. “Drug-related crimes, domestic violence, violence driven by poverty or desperation. But what we saw this morning was a different kind of evil.”
Neighbor Vicki Pinkston told local station WXIN that she did not hear the shots but was woken up by police at 5 a.m. Sunday morning and discovered the news that her neighbors were dead.
“They are so sweet. The little boy, so sweet. Oh lord, they say ‘Hi, Miss, Vicki’ all the time… Now I’ve got to look over there and not hear them say ‘Hi Miss Vicki, how’s your day going,’” she told the station.
City Councilman William Oliver, who lives just minutes from the scene of the mass murder, told the station he was “angry, hurt and embarrassed” to learn of the violence.
“The act of murder, mass murder, the shame they brought to the household, to our community is an ultimate disgrace,” he said
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