Indianapolis shooting suspect arrested: teen, 17, thought to have shot dead six members of his family, including a pregnant woman and her unborn child is arrested.
The victims were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds early Sunday morning at a home on Adams Street in the Northeast side of Indianapolis in Marion County.
They were identified as mother Kezzie Childs, 42, father Raymond Childs Jr, 42, their 18-year-old son Elijah and 13-year-old daughter Rita. Kiara Hawkins, 19, was also killed, along with her unborn baby boy. Hawkins’ link to the family is unclear.
A seventh victim, described by police as a teenage boy, and the suspect’s brother, suffered gunshot wounds and was hospitalized in critical condition. He is expected to survive.
On Monday morning, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor announced that a juvenile had been arrested. The teen who remained un-identified because of his age is alleged to have fired gunshots after his father having just yelled at him for leaving the house.
Family teen member identified as mass shooting suspect
WRTV reported that the suspect is a 17-year-old male member of the Childs family, and that the shooting was sparked by a domestic dispute. The sole surviving family member said his sibling was enraged over being reprimanded by their father for taking off without permission.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has not announced official charges against the suspect but WRTV said they are expected to include murder/intentional manslaughter with a handgun and attempted murder.
‘Yesterday, we promised swift justice for this heinous act. Today, we delivered on that promise,’ Taylor said in a statement after 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.
‘I am grateful to all of the IMPD officers and criminal justice partners who have worked tirelessly for the last 30 plus hours to bring justice for these victims, their friends and families, and our entire community.’
Several neighbors came forward to share their shock and disbelief over the killings.
‘To take a whole family out like that…I just don’t understand,’ Vicki Pinkston, who lives across the street from the Childs’ home, told WTHR. ‘When I saw them take all the people out of there, I could not believe it. I just hope that they find who did this.’
MASS MURDER FOLLOW UP: I just spoke to India Hampton who was Kezzie Childs classmate from junior-high. Kezzie was the 42-year-old mother killed. She’s heartbroken so much time has passed since they spoke. She stopped by to pray for the family.
Hear her full interview tonight. pic.twitter.com/V6kt0RGqQj
— Darius Johnson (@DariusJohnsonTV) January 25, 2021
A community is left shell shocked
Another neighbor, Rivon Allen-Bailey, said he heard four gunshots ring out early Sunday morning.
Pinkston said she’d recently stopped by the home where the killings took place to drop off some baby items for Hawkins, whom she said was due next month.
‘I had just given them some stuff from my great-grandson when he was born, but he is bigger now,’ she told FOX59.
Sgt Shane Foley of the IMPD said the fatal shootings were discovered by officers who were called at about 4am Sunday to investigate reports of a person shot on the city’s near northeast side.
When they arrived they discovered a juvenile male with gunshot wounds.
As officers were investigating that shooting, Foley said police received information that led them to a nearby home, where they found four adults and one child dead inside from apparent gunshot wounds.
Shooting follows Indianapolis experiencing most violent year on record
One of the victims was Hawkins, who was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead along with her unborn child despite life-saving efforts.
Foley said the juvenile initially found with gunshot wounds is expected to survive and police believe he was wounded in the shooting that left other family members dead.
Chief Taylor initially said the shooting came days after police department officials had announced their latest efforts to combat violent, drug-related crimes and ‘violence driven by poverty or desperation’.
‘But what we saw this morning was a different kind of evil. What happened this morning, based on the evidence that’s been gathered so far, was mass murder,’ Taylor said at a news conference. ‘More than that, we believe it was not random.’
The shooting is the largest mass casualty shooting in the city in more than a decade
The shooting came weeks after Indianapolis recorded its most violent year on record, with 244 homicides.
City officials have attributed the violence in part to poverty which was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.