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Indianapolis teen charged in fatal shootings of family

Raymond Ronald Lee Childs III was charged as an adult with six counts of murder, including one count for the death of the pregnant 19-year-old woman’s unborn child.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department work the scene Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021 in Indianapolis where five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot to death early Sunday inside an Indianapolis home.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department work the scene Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021 in Indianapolis where five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot to death early Sunday inside an Indianapolis home. The pregnant woman who was taken to an area hospital, both she and the unborn child died despite life-saving efforts.
Justin L. Mack, AP Photos

NDIANAPOLIS — A 17-year-old Indianapolis boy has been charged with murder for allegedly fatally shooting his father, stepmother, two teenage relatives and a 19-year-old pregnant woman in the family’s home, a prosecutor announced Thursday.

Raymond Ronald Lee Childs III, who was arrested Monday, was charged as an adult with six counts of murder, including one count for the death of the woman’s unborn child, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced at a news conference. The baby had been due to be born in one week, he said.

Childs also faces an attempted murder charge in the wounding of another relative, a male juvenile who was the sole survivor of Sunday’s shooting at the family’s home on Indianapolis’ near northeast side, authorities said. He was also charged with one count of carrying a handgun without a license.

Mears said that before the shootings, Raymond Childs III had a dispute with his father, 42-year-old Raymond Childs. “It certainly appears there was an argument between father and son in the residence,” Mears said, adding that police are still investigating nature of that dispute.

The elder Raymond Childs, his wife Kezzie Childs, 42, and two other relatives — Elijah Childs, 18, and Rita Childs, 13 — were pronounced dead along with Kiara Hawkins, 19, after being found in the home, the Marion County Coroner’s office said. Hawkins, who Mears said was in a relationship with someone who lived at the home, was first taken to an area hospital, but both she and her unborn male child died despite life-saving efforts, authorities said.

Indianapolis police Chief Randal Taylor has said that the deadly shootings were the largest mass casualty shooting in the city in more than a decade and represented “a different kind of evil” than the violent, drug-related crimes and “violence driven by poverty or desperation” that often results in killings.

Although Raymond Childs III is a juvenile, because he is 17 he was charged as an adult because state law specifies that any individual at least 16 years of age will be charged as an adult if they are accused of committing certain felonies, including murder and attempted murder.