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(INDIANAPOLIS) –  Police and Mayor Joe Hogsett are defending Indy’s record on violent crime after a quadruple murder on the eastside.

Neighbors in the Carriage House East Apartments called 911 after noticing a rear door shattered, possibly by gunfire, and saw people running from the apartment. Inside, police found four people shot to death. The victims have been identified as 20-year-old Marcel Wills, 21-year-old Braxton Ford, 21-year-old Kimari Hunt, and 19-year-old Jalen Roberts.

Hogsett calls the murders heartbreaking. But he bristles at the idea the city hasn’t done enough to fight crime. The shootings took place just hours after a City-County Council committee rejected a proposal from the Fraternal Order of Police and council Republicans to create a study commission on crime. Hogsett says the proposal boils down to whether a committee or a commission should study the crime problem, and says to suggest that “one more bureaucratic entity studying violence” would solve the problem is “ludicrous.”

Hogsett says it doesn’t take a commission to identify what’s causing crime: poverty, drugs, illegal guns, and a juvenile justice system he calls antiquated. He says the city needs to continue efforts like its summer youth jobs program to create opportunities for people trapped in poverty, so they don’t turn to crime instead.

Assistant Chief Chris Bailey says the nature of crime has changed. Instead of gangs with known territories that police can focus on, he says more people are using guns to settle disputes, and that can pop up anywhere. He says police will continue to arrest people who need to be off the streets, but says violent crime won’t go away until poverty and other root causes do.

Police say they believe the Carriage House victims were targeted specifically, but while Deputy Chief Craig McCartt says they have some theories, including robbery, they’re not yet sure why they were killed.

The shootings bring Indy’s murder total to 24 in the first 36 days of the year.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (left) and IMPD Chief Randal Taylor (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)