As Brian Zaragoza left the Una Parada Mercado with his mother in northwest Indianapolis last Friday, he heard what he thought were bottle rockets. Then the 14-year-old felt something hit him in the lower back, causing him to stumble forward.
“I didn’t actually think it was a bullet until I saw the X-rays,” Brian tells Fox 59.
Witnesses say the boy was shot by a man in a moving car who yelled an anti-Latino slur as he sped away. Published reports have yet to specify what was actually said. (Reporter Charlie De Mar says the slur was “anti-Mexican” on air but describes it as “anti-Hispanic” in his article.)
The similarities and proximity of this incident and others over the weekend has many members of the city’s Latino community worried they may be the targets of a rampaging criminal.
From Fox 59:
Minutes earlier, just a few blocks from the spot Zaragoza was shot, a Mexican taco stand was also the scene of a shooting. An SUV with an adult and two small children inside was shot at. Nobody was injured.
The car description that Zaragoza gave police is similar to the one spotted at the taco stand shooting. Also, .40 caliber shell casings were collected at both scenes.
‘If they were just targeting random Mexican places, then I guess I was just wrong place wrong time,’ said Zaragoza.
Saturday, a Hispanic-owned smoke shop located on the west side was also targeted. Video shows the suspect violently punching the clerk, grabbing money from the cash register and then firing at the employee as she ran for her. The clerk was shot once in the leg.