Troubled Indy apartment complex beefs up security in wake of killing

INDIANAPOLIS — The first thing Shelly Corken wants you to know about the most recent killing connected to the New Bridge Apartments is her tenant died in the 2300 block of Hillside Avenue, just off the property.

“It was an outsider coming inside and should have never been here,” she said about this morning’s murder of one of her residents. ”He was a good kid. He was a young kid. Kept to himself. He was real quiet. He’s only lived here a couple months.”

Corken said one of her employees broke up an argument between the outsider and her tenant minutes before shots were fired on the nearby street.

”I just know that they had words,” she said. “Maintenance did step in and told them to both get off the property, told one guy to get off the property and our tenant to go back upstairs. Everything was calm and then our tenant was going to the gas station to get cigarettes when he was shot and killed outside the fence.”

Fox 59 News has viewed surveillance video of the argument and its aftermath as the assailant walked off toward the New Bridge fence line along Hillside Avenue and the tenant, unaware of what awaited him, followed minutes later.

Then, after the killing, the shooter returned to the parking lot outside the apartment building and got into a silver Chrysler before driving away.

”We believe this was an isolated incident, that it was a targeted incident, it involved two individuals who are known to each other and detectives do believe they have identified a potential suspect in this investigation,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley. ”We need the cooperation of the community and we get a lot of cooperation from people who live in this complex, and its unfortunate that they have to experience this.”

Apparently, IMPD is receiving that cooperation in the form of videos and eyewitness accounts.

”We have gotten a couple phone calls, they starting to call us and say, ‘Hey, this is we see.’ You know, they’ don’t want us to know who they are, but its helping out,” said Kwame Williams of Central Patrol Agency, the New Bridge security contractor who noted the new spirit of cooperation that has swept through the community since Corken took over management in mid-March. ”What we do on weekends is we set up a little checkpoint, we check everyone that comes on property. If they’re not a resident or they don’t know who they’re seeing, they can’t give us a name of a person, or the apartment number, we don’t let them on property.”

Corken said she has evicted nineteen residents for disruptive behavior or failure to pay rent since she came on board.

“We needed to clean up the area, clean up the neighborhood,” she said. ”We’ve installed cameras, we’re installing more cameras. If there’s any kind of person or people that are out and about causing any issues, we trespass them off of our property.

”We’re increasing security,” Corken continued. “We’re gonna have feet on the ground 24/7. We’ve asked IMPD to come help, make sure that they’re driving by, sitting in here, hanging out, and they assured me that they will. My security is gonna double their team and have them out here 24/7 so that everybody feels safe and protected.”

Since 2019, New Bridge has been connected to eight homicides.

In an attempt to make the complex even safer, Corken said she had a list of five more tenants set for eviction today before events interceded.

To that list she’ll add a sixth name, the leaseholder of the apartment where the shooter and his unauthorized girlfriend were visiting before the argument and the killing.

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