INDIANAPOLIS — At least 30 police cars blocked off part of an Indianapolis nightlife district late Friday night into early Saturday morning, bringing a different sort of flashing lights to a strip where seven people were injured by gunfire a week earlier.
Squad cars, SUVs and unmarked police cars lined up around the Broad Ripple strip just before midnight Friday. Officers lined every corner of the strip while patrons dipped in and out of the area's bars, clubs and lounges. Many off-duty officers stood guard in front of establishments that had hired them as security.
"I don't feel scared," Kimberly Drake, 26, told The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1s8eMUT). "If something is going to happen, it will happen. You can't sit at home scared."
Many of the officers had begun their day before noon Friday at a funeral service for Officer Perry Renn, who died in a separate confrontation last weekend after being shot three times by a man armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.
Police have said the blockades on the Broad Ripple strip could continue every weekend and that only emergency vehicles and taxis would be allowed past. Pedestrians were allowed only on the sidewalk and street musicians kept them moving along.
"Manpower is a tough thing, but we are throwing everything at it," Sgt. Paul Vanek said.
Business for the bars and lounges along the strip was mixed, as some patrons were nervous after last weekend's violence, which police believe started when two people bumped into each other.
"Anyone would be nervous ... but I feel like they have taken precautions," said Kyle Brown, 32, of Indianapolis. "Usually, I don't get out to Broad Ripple much, but I decided to get out and have some fun."
One lounge owner, however, was concerned that the show of police force could discourage customers.
"We typically don't see any problems over here, but parking all the cop cars over here in front of our location is terrible for business," said Chris Miller, owner of The Red Room. "Anybody walking down the street thinks there is something going on over here, so I am not too happy about it."
Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com