INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A man who was shot last week outside a nightclub died this morning at a hospital, becoming the city's 14th homicide victim in less than two weeks, authorities said.
Billy Isaac Jr., 18, was shot early Saturday morning outside an under-21 club. Jack Berry, 16, who was also shot, died shortly after. Reginald Bell, 19, was being held without bail in the Marion County Jail today on murder charges for the shootings.
The rash of violence that Mayor Bart Peterson is calling an "extreme emergency" has resulted in more police officers on the streets and officials looking for ways to lessen jail crowding and speed cases through the court system.
With now 95 homicides since January, Marion County is on track for its bloodiest year since 1998, when 162 people died. The number so far this year compares with 121 for all of 2005.
As part of their response to the violence, city leaders announced a plan Wednesday intended to relieve strain on the Marion County Jail by spending about $2.2 million this year to create a night court for some cases.
Peterson called for an extra $54 million increase in public safety and criminal justice spending in 2007, comparing the crime wave to a crisis such as a tornado.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Police and Marion County Sheriff's departments have assigned more officers to the streets and put them on longer shifts. And Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said he plans to add six deputy prosecutors to the Homicide Unit, bringing the total to 12.
The slayings have also galvanized city residents who are planning prayer vigils at sites where the killings occurred and at area churches.