For the 4th year in a row, Indianapolis has broken a new criminal homicide record.
The death of 2 men — who were shot and killed inside a vehicle on the east side late Wednesday — pushed the total dead in 2018 to 156. They joined 5 other men and 1 woman who've been killed so far in December.
This year's count eclipsed the 155 cases investigated by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department last year and continued an annual climb in criminal homicides that began in 2011. It can create hopelessness at times.
"Most people don’t think that you can do anything about it," said Rev. Charles Harrison, who for years has tried to curb crime here as a co-founder of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition. "You can't get the guns off the street. You’re not able to deal with the issues of poverty and broken families and the hopelessness these kids are feeling."
For Harrison, who's been involved in anti-crime efforts for about 2 decades, it's clear who pays the highest cost in Indianapolis: black males, particularly those who are younger than 25.
Young black males are 4 times more likely than everyone else to be victims of criminal homicides in Indianapolis and they're overwhelmingly dying of gunshot wounds.
IndyStar reached those findings through an analysis of 5 years of homicide and census data. Data from those 5 years, illustrated and explained by a series of graphics, is contained within this story.
The 2018 number includes all criminal homicide investigations opened by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detectives in 2018, including a few cases where someone died last year but the deaths were determined to be homicides this year.
The count doesn't include killings made in self-defense, police action shootings or accidental homicides. Homicides in other parts of Marion County, such as in Lawrence or Cumberland, aren't included.
In Indianapolis, just as in many other cities struggling with violence, the reality's grim for one particular demographic.
Young black males, who are under the age of 25, were victims in 34 cases this year. Young white males, by comparison, accounted for 2 victims.
It matches a years-long trend. Since 2014, just 17 young white males were victims, compared to 175 who were young black males, making up about 25% of all victims.
Indianapolis has experienced another record-breaking year with a total of 161 homicides being reported. For the 4th year in a row, young Black males under age 25 are the victims in more than 34 cases. 3 of every 4 homicide victims were Black.
Since 2014, young Black males have been 4 times more likely than anyone else to be victims of homicides. Black male homicides outpaced all other races in every age category. The highest percentage of those killed are in the 18- to 24-year-old age range.