INDIANAPOLIS - Citizens came together Saturday night to send a message that violence in Indianapolis needs to stop.
The city's radio stations collaborated to host the event – dubbed "Indy United" – to promote peace in Indianapolis.
The rally came after an especially violent week in Indy that saw more than a dozen people shot, including IMPD Officer Perry Renn, killed in a shootout with a suspect last Saturday.
"We need to come together," said Indy United attendee Rose Maxey. "We need to hug each other. We need to love on each other and tell these men there is hope. There is things they can do. There's things they can become and we need to let them know that death is not the final answer."
Organizers said they hope the message of peace spreads to Indianapolis neighborhoods like the one on then northeast side where Renn was shot.
Church of Glory Pastor Donald Edwards, Jr., grew up in the Forest Manor community that Renn patrolled for nearly 22 years.
"I saw the violence," Edwards said. "I saw the gang fighting, and our ministry has gotten people off the street that was gang banging, selling dope."
Speakers told the crowd that 73 murders so far this year, on the heels of 125 murders last year, shows police cannot take on violence alone.
"Until you are willing to grab a kid by the collar say, 'We're going this way,' things are not going to change," Edwards said.
The father-in-law of slain IMPD Officer Rod Bradway said police need the community's support.
"It's going to take the whole community to stand together, not just the police," Ronald Gentry said. "The police can only do what they know about. The people have to gather together and support the police and tell them what they know."
Edwards said he believes Indianapolis neighborhoods will become safer when symbolic unity is followed with action.
Extra $740K for domestic violence shelters
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute has announced a plan to make $740,426 more available to 43 domestic violence shelters already…
Police find trailer from gun store robbery
A trailer that once contained dozens of high-powered weapons and 20,000 rounds of ammunition was recovered on the city's north side after it…
$40M south-side construction project nearing end
The end is near for a major construction project on the city's south side.
Man pleads guilty after deadly freak accident
A South Bend man has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident while driving intoxicated causing serious bodily injury in a freak…
Ind. farmers brace for financial loss this fall
Despite the approach of harvest season, some Indiana farmers say they're bracing for a big financial loss this fall.
2 IU players enter pretrial diversion program
Indiana basketball players Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell and Stanford Robinson have entered pretrial diversion programs after being charged in April…