Officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said the name and photo of the suspect is not being released because the individual is not an adult. It is unclear how old the suspect is.
Investigators 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.”
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 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, after making contact with a juvenile male, whose age police didn’t disclose, who was found suffering from gunshot wounds just footsteps away from the scene.
It is believed that the boy was wounded in the Adams Street incident. If so, he is the only recorded survivor at this time.
Law enforcement are looking into whether the shooter illegally obtained the guns and will also investigate who is responsible for supplying the guns, said Mayor Joe Hogsett during a public address from IMPD’s North District headquarters in the wake of the tragedy.
The mass shooting on Adams Street was one of nearly a half-dozen shootings that happened across the city in a span of less than five hours that ended in at least seven people hospitalized in addition to those killed.
The deadly night comes weeks after Indianapolis recorded the most violent year in the city’s history, which city officials attributed to the desperation that plagued already struggling communities during a deadly pandemic across the country.
“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,” said Hogsett. City officials said the Adams Street shooting is part of the violence endemic to communities across America but also one that rises to a new level of moral depravity.
“What we saw this morning was a different kind of evil,” Taylor said.
“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 if any policy could have prevented the mass killing, Hogsett said the city’s programs aim to reduce the 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 local 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 Adams Street 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 systematic issues of poverty that drive much of the crimes.