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Juvenile charged as adult in Adams Street mass shooting

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Raymond Childs III, 17, faces six charges of murder in connection with the shooting deaths of his family Jan. 24. These charges, along with one charge of attempted murder and two charges of possessing a handgun without a license, were announced during a press conference Jan. 28. Childs has been charged as an adult and faces an initial hearing at 1 p.m. Jan. 28.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said the killings occurred after Childs got into an argument with his father, Raymond Childs Jr., about leaving the house without permission. According to the only survivor, Child’s 15-year-old brother, who fled to a neighbor’s house after being shot in the arm and leg, Childs killed his father, stepmother, two siblings and a pregnant woman in the family home on the 3500 block of East Adams Street.

The deceased are Raymond Childs Jr. and Kezzie Childs, both 42, Elijah Childs, 18, Rita Childs, 13, Kiara Hawkins, 19, and Hawkins’ unborn baby. At the time of her death, Hawkins was due to deliver in a week.

According to Mears, Childs used two guns in the shooting, including a 9 mm rifle. The second handgun was found on Childs when he was apprehended at a relative’s house. Evidence suggests the Childs family legally obtained the guns.

Mears said his office is currently investigating whether Childs has a prior history of violence. It is unknown at this time if Childs was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but Mears said he has seen no evidence to indicate substance abuse was a factor in this crime.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Mears said. “ … Our community has suffered another trauma with the tragic loss of this family. Gun violence continues to take and damage too many lives. Our task now is to bring these allegations before the court.”

If convicted, Childs faces a minimum sentence of 45 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Due to his age, the state cannot pursue the death penalty.

“Today’s charging announcement is welcome news as our community continues to grapple with this shocking crime,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Randal Taylor said in a statement. “I am grateful to Prosecutor Mears and his staff, Detective Winter, and all of the IMPD officers and criminal justice partners who continue to work diligently to bring justice in this case.”

This story is ongoing and will be updated when new information becomes available.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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