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Police, community and church leaders condemn deadly shooting of 14-year-old boy

Posted: 2:08 PM, Jan 31, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-31 18:17:27-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- IMPD Chief Bryan Roach joined other officers and community and church leaders to condemn the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy on the west side Monday.

Anthony Lee Hughes Jr. was shot and killed Monday night around 7:30 p.m. outside of the Popeye's restaurant in the 3200 block of West 16th Street.

MORE | 14-year-old victim identified in fatal Popeye's shooting  | CALL 6: Gun sale led to deadly shooting of 14-year-old

As of Tuesday evening, the case remained open, and IMPD had not released any suspect information.

A group of about two dozen people gathered just a few blocks away from where the shooting occurred to issue a "call to action" Tuesday.

"I believe we have to stop talking about what needs to be done and start doing," Pastor Ronald Covington Sr. said. "Our future, our children's futures, are at stake."

Covington's Friendship Missionary Baptist Church sits just a short distance away from the Popeye's where Hughes was killed.

"We have a serious problem. We must come together to do more," Covington said. "Our hearts are saddened, our hearts are broken not only about this young man, but all the young men that are being killed in our community."

Deputy Mayor Dr. David Hampton followed Covington, calling on every pastor, church, and faith-based organization to adopt their neighborhoods and blocks.

"Together we can begin to move the needle as we seek solutions to the senseless violence we see in our city," Hampton said. "Yes we have issues of poverty, we have issues of mental illness that must be addressed, we have issues of unemployment, we have issues of food insecurity – but I also believe we have heart issues. It's a heart issue whenever we see victims as young as 14 years old being gunned down senselessly."

Another call to action was to reopen the Friendship Westside Center for Excellence.  The former Boys and Girls Club was taken over by the church after 2005.  It was closed because attendance dropped.

The church has spent $400,000 on the property and hopes to reopen it. 

Above: Deputy Mayor Dr. David Hampton speaks at a "call to action" following the shooting death of 14-year-old Anthony Lee Hughes Jr.

Chief Roach said officers responded to the shooting scene within a minute, and even performed CPR on Hughes.

"Our men and women of the police department were there within a minute, so we're in the right places. We're trying to be where we should be," Roach said. "We have an officer here who performed CPR to try to save this boy's life. We're going to work hard. We're going to try to be in the right places at the right time. I think we were here – we were just a little short."

Roach and Hampton both issued a call for anyone with information about the shooting to contact IMPD or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Calls may be made anonymously.