ANDERSON, Ind. — A street party with upwards of 300 mostly young people erupted in gunfire on the west side of Anderson early Sunday morning, leaving six people wounded.
The most seriously injured, a female, was rescued by Anderson Police officers from the midst of the chaos who then stopped the bleeding from her wounds to help deliver the victim to a local hospital before she was airlifted to Indianapolis for more intensive care.
The oldest victims were 21 years old, the youngest was a 14-year-old boy.
”Gunshots like a war. Like a war,” said Bobbie Taylor, owner of Sonny Ray’s, a longtime nightclub at the corner of 16th Street and Madison Avenue. “I looked out and that’s when I saw all the police down here. And the ambulance. When I peeked out the window when I heard the gunshots, I saw people running.”
Five of the victims transported themselves to Anderson hospitals.
Investigators found witnesses were reluctant to cooperate, leaving detectives to rely on pole-mounted surveillance cameras.
“Usually we get our best evidence on Facetime live, facetime posts actually showing some of the shootings,” said Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings. “That’s what usually happens.”
Cummings said the same intersection was the site of another mass shooting in the summer of 2022 that left two dead among the five wounded.
”Its crowds and kids, it really is,” said Cummings. “And kids with guns at two or three in the morning is a formula for a serious problem.”
Taylor said the violence happens in the street involving minors too young to come into her bar.
”This is where people come and hang out,” she said. “This has been going on for years. Everybody’s got guns out here. A lot of us are scared because you see 14 and 15-year-olds walking down the street with extended clips hanging out. And as a business owner, what are we to do?”
Taylor was joined by several supporters and other business owners, police, pastors, the Anderson chapter of the Ten Point Coalition and neighbors at a rally outside the bar Sunday night.
”I think there should be some kind of curfew called to where after a certain time, and I feel the police should be able to stop if they see somebody walking down the street and they look like they’re 10, 13-years-old with extended clips hanging out their pockets,” she said. “I feel like they should be able to stop them, ID them or whatever. They’re not old enough. Take them home, take those guns to their parents or whatever.”
Aside from Cummings, noticeably absent from the rally the night after the shootings were the political leadership of Anderson including Mayor Thomas Broderick, Jr., who recently squeezed through his party’s primary election, and the city councilor who represents Anderson’s west side, as residents debated among themselves as to a solution to the crowds, violence and disruption that they say is common several nights a week once the weather turns warm.
”There need to be signs out here and hire enforcement and not let those big crowds congregate out here,” said Cummings as he surveyed the private parking lot where crowds and vehicles gather. “As soon as nice weather comes out on the weekends, that’s what usually happens.”