Family of 15-year-old Indianapolis murder victim speaks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The city’s latest murder victim was a 15-year-old boy, just about to start his sophomore year of high school at Arsenal Tech.

Police say Ja’Vonne Ellis was shot and killed near 38th and Station Streets Monday evening. The Marion County Coroner’s Office says he suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police are now looking to speak with two 16-year-olds in connection to the crime.

Family says Ja’Vonne Ellis was in the welding program at Arsenal Tech. His mother spoke with 24-Hour News 8 on Tuesday afternoon.

“I just can’t believe it. I just really miss him,” said his mother, Regina Maples. “He was strong. He was smart. We’ll never have another one like him.”

The family is now hoping for answers in his death, saying they’d like whoever did this to come forward.

“Ja’Vonne was not perfect, but he was not out here causing havoc. He wasn’t running the streets,” said his cousin Amanda Boyd. “We have families in our community that really need help; they need resources.”

“My brother was only 15, and he didn’t deserve to die this young, or die the way he did,” said his sister Jayln Ellis. “He had a big heart. He had his issues, but he didn’t hold that against anybody. He was a protector.”

Ja’Vonne’s mother says she is a breast cancer survivor. Her family says she just had her last radiation treatment on Tuesday.

Family says Ja’Vonne served as a helper through his mother’s battle with cancer.

“He was a provider during her health issues,” explained Boyd. “He cooked meals, prepared medications, called doctors. He was really being the man in the house at 15.”

Mayor Ballard spent Monday in Washington DC getting insight into how to curb our city’s crime problem. The latest victim’s family says they have a few ideas.

“Too many parents are letting their kids do whatever they want,” said Ellis. “They don’t have them in camps like they need to be, they don’t have anything productive to do.”

“We need to provide sustainable resources for our urban communities,” said Boyd. “We gotta do it now. No mother should have to bury her 15-year-old son.”

“It’s too much. Everybody needs to get together and do something,” added Maples.

Police haven’t released a motive in the murder yet. Family says they believe someone may have contacted Ellis to come meet them outside.

If you have information in the crime, you’re asked to call Crimestoppers at 262-TIPS.

As far as curbing crime, the mayor’s spokesperson says the mayor’s task force is looking at the next steps the city and state can do, focusing on the societal issues that lead to violence.

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