Indy, the mother of a young victim, calls for education on gun violence

Although none of Thursday morning’s multiple shootings resulted in death, community leaders say any kind of gun violence is unacceptable.

INDIANAPOLIS — After another violent night in Indianapolis, families are once again wondering: When will the shooting end and what will it take to finally stem the violence?

So far this year, Indianapolis has recorded 104 homicides. And while none of Thursday morning’s shootings ended in death, community leaders say any kind of gun violence is unacceptable.

13News spoke with a mother whose mission is to bring about positive change for peace.

“I never thought someone would shoot my baby, but stray bullets are real,” DeAndra Dycus said.

She and her son Dre, now 21, have lived with this reality for eight years, since Dre was hit by a bullet at a birthday party.

“My son was shot at 13. He’s a quadriplegic,” Dycus explained.

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Since then, Dycus started the nonprofit organization Purpose for My Pain and is now working with the city, reaching out to offer support to victims of non-fatal shootings, like his son and their families.

“My heart always instantly goes out to the parents of what this journey is like for them. Their child’s life was changed or taken away, and it always brings me back,” she said.

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On Thursday morning, Dycus woke up to learn that seven people had been shot in the early morning at three different locations, all within 30 minutes. Among the victims was a 14-year-old boy, hit in the foot by a stray bullet as he slept.

“It definitely takes me back,” Dycus said. “Once you are impacted, you are always impacted.”

Dycus is worried about what will happen on July 1, when an unlicensed gun law goes into effect in Indiana.

“Now that license-free transport is here, giving access to more people, let’s start getting into the educational side of gun safety,” Dycus said. “How does it feel to keep a padlock on it?” What does it look like to keep it properly stored? she asked for educational measures which she believes must take place.

Dycus also advocates other ways. His nonprofit teamed up with the city last Friday night to host the first weekend of Safe Summer programs for teens at Riverside Park.

“Every opportunity or space given to save a child from 7-10 p.m. on a Friday night in Indianapolis is a space we should want our children in,” Dycus said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

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Sam D. Gomez