Marion County Sheriff's Office

The city is on track to hit 150 homicides in 2014.

An Indianapolis firefighter is trying to turn weapons into art as a memorial for homicide victims—of which, sadly, the city has plenty. 

A few weeks ago, Indianapolis was the site of the National Rifle Association's annual convention. At the same time, the city had its 50th homicide of the year, putting it on track to hit 150 homicides in 2014. That's 25 more than 2013, which was the highest number of homicides in seven years. To put this in perspective: Indianapolis has almost twice as many homicides per capita as Chicago, which had the most murders of any city in the country in 2013.

Ryan Feeney, a firefighter with his own forging business, is in the middle of creating a memorial to those homicide victims: a peace dove, built out of confiscated firearm parts provided by the Marion County sheriff's office. Some of those parts have even been used in the homicides the sculpture is memorializing.

That, Sheriff John Layton told Fox 59, was the point: "These aren't just stolen guns. These were actually guns used in crimes themselves, crimes that hurt people, guns that murdered people."

"I want to do this for the families of those victims," Layton said. "Maybe we can find a place of solace where they can actually gather around the peace dove in remembrance of the one they loved."

Right now, the dove is just a two-foot-tall model, but Layton is raising money so Feeney can create one twice as big, to be displayed somewhere yet to be decided.

This post originally appeared on The Wire. More from our partner site:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a visitor posing for a photo with Elvis in downtown Nashville
    Perspective

    Cities: Don’t Fall in the Branding Trap

    From Instagram stunts to Edison bulbs, why do so many cities’ marketing plans try to convince people that they’re exactly like somewhere else?

  2. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  3. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  4. Equity

    The FBI's Forgotten War on Black-Owned Bookstores

    At the height of the Black Power movement, the Bureau focused on the unlikeliest of public enemies: black independent booksellers.

  5. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.