04.12.2022

Five people including a pregnant woman shot dead

Five people, including a pregnant woman and a juvenile, were killed in Indianapolis early on Sunday in what police say was the largest mass casualty shooting in more than a decade.

Kezzie Childs, 42, Raymond Childs, 42, Elijah Childs, 18, Rita Childs, 13, and Kiara Hawkins, 19, and the unborn child of Hawkins were pronounced dead after the police found them in the 3500 block of Adams Street, local media reports stated.

The fatal shootings were discovered when the police received a call at about 4am to investigate reports of a person shot on the city’s northeast side. They first discovered a juvenile male with gunshot wounds, Sgt Shane Foley of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told Associated Press.

As officers were investigating that shooting, Mr Foley said police received information at about 4.40 am that led them to a nearby home, where they found the five dead bodies inside, all suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

Hawkins, who was pregnant, was first taken to a local hospital, but both she and the unborn child died despite attempts to save their lives, Mr Foley said.

He said the juvenile initially found with gunshot wounds is expected to survive and police believe he was wounded in the shootings that left the five others dead, along with the unborn child.

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said police believe the deadly shootings were not random, but were a targeted attack carried out by an assailant or assailants.

He 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,” Mr Taylor said at a news conference. “More than that, we believe it was not random.”

Mr Taylor said it was the largest mass casualty shooting in the city in more than a decade, and urged the public to contact police and pass along any information they might have on the killings.

Mayor Joe Hogsett called the shootings “mass murder,” and said that an individual or individuals had brought “terror to our community.” He said he had contacted officials with the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, the local US Attorney’s office and other law enforcement agencies for assistance in the shooting investigation.

“I want those responsible to know that the full might of local, state and federal law enforcement are coming for them as I speak,” he said.

No suspects have been named or arrested till Sunday evening, according to the police, however an investigation is ongoing.

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