INDIANAPOLIS — About 175,000 visitors are expected downtown through Saturday for the Circle City Classic.
Police want to make sure there’s not a repeat of last weekend — nine people shot in three separate shootings — during the annual college football game at Lucas Oil Stadium and its surrounding festivities.
One of the three shootings was downtown around 11:20 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Illinois and West Maryland streets. Some of the people shot downtown were innocent bystanders. Police continue to seek a suspect.
Mayor Joe Hogsett said, “Downtown remains probably the safest place in all the city of Indianapolis.”
Hogsett said the Circle City Classic and other downtown events are safe because of everyone involved in the planning.
Besides the 3 p.m. Saturday game, Kentucky State vs. Jackson State, another Circle City Classic event that will draw a big crowd is the parade from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re going to harden up the parade route a little bit,” said Patrolman Michael Hewitt of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s public affairs unit.
“We will have SWAT (the special weapons and tactics team) out on the parade route. Of course, our mounted patrol will be out downtown as they always are for a big event. … We will be deploying our bicycle response group that will be able to move in and out of the downtown crowd.”
Police said they do not believe there is any more threat than usual. They’re still referring to this weekend as a “soft target.”
“It’s very rare that we will have issues that will spill out from any one single event,” Hewitt said. “We just mainly like to have a large police presence downtown as we do on most weekends.”
“We just want to assure everyone downtown is safe,” Hewitt said. “Come on down, the weather is going to be great. It’s going to be a great event. Come down and have a good time.”
Police said if you see something strange this weekend and don’t feel safe, find an officer or call the police.