Gary Mayor Jerome Prince, along with city councilors and law enforcement leaders, spoke out in support of amending local regulations to mandate armed security for businesses with a history of violence
The new amendment proposition follows the fatal shooting of a 70-year-old longtime resident who was killed in a robbery at a gas station last week.
"In times like these, we can't help but feel helpless," Mayor Prince said. "We can choose to continue that feeling or choose to do something about it."
The mayor unveil an updated safety plan Tuesday following the murder of Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer, retired firefighter and Gary businessman Wallace Broadnax.
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"Our hope is legislation, such as the Broadnax amendment, proves that you can have a successful business in Gary when it is safe," said the victim's nephew Anthony Broadnax.
Broadnax was born and raised in Gary.
He had gone to the same spot he always stopped at to pick up a morning paper as part of his daily routine on his way into his family's funeral home. While there on June 26, he was allegedly gunned down by two juveniles during an armed robber on Grant Street, according to police.
"Standing here is challenging for the family," Anthony said. "We are standing at the scene, and it has been a very challenging and emotional week, as you might understand."
Broadnax was a fireman in Gary for 25 years, as well as a member of the 1968 Roosevelt high school state basketball championship team which led to him later being inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. He eventually went on to play ball overseas.
The family said the situation is frustrating on multiple levels, adding that Broadnax was always a youth supporter.
The mayor said mandating armed security in Broadnax's name shows that despite its reputation, Gary will not tolerate violence.
The amendment to the existing ordinance goes forward for debate Tuesday at the regular Gary Common Council meeting. Armed security was a centerpiece of Mayor Prince's initial legislation when he came into office, but that measure was voted down by council. He hopes that with Broadnax's legacy attached to the measure they will reconsider and pass the amendment.
Two teenagers, ages 14 and 15, are in custody in connection with his murder. They face with four counts of felony murder, robbery and weapons charges.