Northeast-side neighborhood battles high rate of violence

46218 accounts for 15-16 percent of Indy murders

INDIANAPOLIS - The 46218 ZIP code accounts for 15 to 16 percent of Indianapolis' murders year after year.

One of them happened Tuesday night, when William Morris was fatally shot in the back seat of a Chevy Blazer near 36th Street and Sherman Drive.

"When you hear about that happening so close to where you serve families, our immediate response is, 'Is that one of our kids, or is that one of our families? Is that one of our parents?'" said Marcus Robinson, chancellor of Charles A. Tindley accelerated school. "So you kind of hold your breath for a minute."

Robinson said he has experienced plenty of those moments; the national recognition for academics hasn't shielded the charter school from surrounding violence.

"Just last summer we had a young man who was a senior in college, doing very well, giving back to his community, (at the) wrong place at the wrong time and... murdered on the west side," said Robinson.

Forest Manor Multi-Service Center Executive Director Regina Marsh has a similar perspective.

"It's upsetting to me when I have a 17-year-old boy in my after-school program who went to seven funerals last year due to gun violence," Marsh said.

Marsh has worked with many people directly impacted by the area's more than 100 shootings since last year.

"If we want the violence to change, then we have to change the violence," she said. "If we're not the ones who are going to make the change, who will?"

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