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Indianapolis teen, 17, charged w/ shooting dead 4 family members & 5th person

Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond
Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond
Raymond Childs III Indianapolis
Pictured, Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond. Police bookings.

Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond charged w/ shooting dead 4 family members & 5th person and their unborn child. Aspiring rapper who rapped about guns, money and shooting people. 

An Indiana teen accused of shooting dead five people and an unborn baby at his family’s home in Indianapolis after his father scolded him for breaking curfew has been charged with murder. 

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against Raymond Childs III, 17, on Thursday morning. He is facing six counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of carrying a handgun without a license. 

Childs III an aspiring artist going by the name of ‘Lil Raymond’ who rapped about guns and shooting people, allegedly went on a shooting spree early Sunday morning – killing his mother, Kezzie Childs, 42, father, Raymond Childs Jr, 42, 18-year-old brother Elijah and 13-year-old sister Rita. Elijah’s pregnant girlfriend Kiara Hawkins, 19, was also killed, along with her unborn baby boy. 

Childs III was identified as the gunman by his younger brother Xavier Childs, who suffered gunshot wounds as he fled from the home, police said. Xavier, 15, remains hospitalized but is expected to recover. 

Police previously withheld the suspect’s name due to his age. It was released after the charges were filed in adult court due to the severity of the alleged crimes. 

‘I’m sorry Raymond, I love you.’ 

Childs III faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted. Prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty due to his age. 

He appeared in court for a virtual hearing on Thursday afternoon, where a judge ordered he be held without bond.

A probable cause affidavit details how Childs III allegedly chased his fleeing brother Xavier down and shot him twice as he begged for his life – narrowly missing his skull.  

The affidavit also states that Childs III shot his parents in their bed, as his father pleaded: ‘I’m sorry Raymond, I love you.’ 

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears told a news conference that Childs III carried out the shooting with two different firearms – first using a 9MM handgun and then switching to a ‘draco gun’ after the handgun ran out of bullets. Those guns were believed to have been owned by his father. It’s unclear if they were licensed. 

Childs III fled from the home after the killings and was arrested on Monday at a relative’s home.  

He was being held at Marion County Juvenile Detention Center prior to charges being filed. It’s unclear whether he’s been transferred to an adult jail. 

Indianapolis teen, 17, charged with mass shooting of family
Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond weapons.

Omnipresent Gun Violence

The handgun was recovered from the home and the draco gun was found after Childs III was arrested, Mears said. 

He said both guns appeared to have been owned by the family, but did not say whether they were legally obtained. 

‘Our community has suffered another trauma with the tragic loss of this family. Gun violence continues to take and damage too many lives,’ Mears said. 

‘Our task now is to bring these allegations before the Court. We intend to seek justice for the victims, and to do so in a way that respects the process and all of the circumstances present in this case.’ 

Neighbors had called 911 to report the shooting at about 4am Sunday after Xavier fled from the house on Adams Street and collapsed on their porch, according to the probable cause affidavit. 

When he got to the hospital, Xavier told officers that his 17-year-old brother was the gunman, saying: ‘They killed my entire family.’   

Raymond Childs III Indianapolis shooting suspect charged with murder
Pictured, mother, Kezzie Childs, 42, and daughter, Rita, 13. Image via Facebook.
Indianapolis teen, 17, charged mass shooting of family
Raymond Childs III aka Lil Raymond.

‘I can give you forty dollars, please don’t kill me.’

Describing the moments leading up to the shooting, Xavier reportedly told detectives that his older sibling had been scolded by his father for leaving the house without permission.

The father, Raymond Jr, warned his older son that he would be punished later, Xavier said, before chaos erupted. 

The sibling said his brother then ‘came downstairs with a draco gun, a handgun that shoots rifle rounds, and started shooting’, the police report states. 

Xavier ran out of the house as his older brother allegedly followed behind and opened fire multiple times.  

When Childs III caught up to him, Xavier said he told him: ‘I can give you forty dollars, please don’t kill me.’

‘He just looked at me and then he shot me on the leg. I fell. He shot me in my arm. And then he tried to shoot me in my head but missed, I guess,’ Xavier told detectives. 

Police tracked Childs III down through his girlfriend, J.D., according to the affidavit. Detectives had gone to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant where Childs III and J.D. worked, and the manager told them that both employees called out sick that morning. 

Detectives went to J.D.’s home and found a white Chrysler registered to Raymond Jr parked outside. They then brought J.D. in for questioning following a traffic stop. 

J.D. directed investigators toward a home on Burkhart South Drive where she said Childs III was staying. 

Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond
Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond

Lil Raymond’ rapping about guns and shooting people

Recounting the hours before the shooting, J.D. said Childs III was planning to spend the night at her house on Saturday when his father called and told him to come home. 

J.D. said Childs III left in an Uber and then came back to her house sometime before 3am on Sunday morning in a white Chrysler that she said she had never seen him driving before. 

Childs III told J.D. that his father had kicked him out of the house, she said, noting that he brought two bags of clothes and some shoes with him. 

About 30 minutes after Childs III came back to her house, J.D. said she got an alert on her phone about a shooting on Adams Street. She asked him if he knew anything about it and he said no. 

Later in the morning J.D. said she convinced Childs III to go to the crime scene, saying he seemed ‘nervous’. When they got there, he began crying and ‘acted a clown’, she said. 

They then went back to her home, where he grabbed some of his clothes and asked her to drive him to another house. After she dropped him off, J.D. said she saw a magazine fly out of the pile of clothes Childs III had left on the floor.

Loved ones set up two GoFundMe campaigns – one for the Childs family and one for Hawkins – for funeral costs.     

Videos posted on YouTube show the suspect, who used the name ‘Lil Raymond’ rapping about guns and shooting people, Pastor Kenneth Sullivan Jr told WTHR

‘It’s really gut-wrenching, it really hurts,’ said Sullivan, whose relationship to the Childs family is unclear. 

Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond
Raymond Childs III Indianapolis aka Lil Raymond

Influenced by culture of violence

He said its possible that the ‘aspiring artist’ was ‘acting out’ things that he rapped about when he carried out the shooting. 

‘If you’re constantly feeding your mind negative things and destructive things, it won’t be long before act upon those things,’ Sullivan said. 

WTHR reported that investigators are working to determine whether the guns seen in the music video matched the one used in Sunday’s shooting.    

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.