Tonight, Indianapolis Metro Police report eight people have been shot near the Indiana Convention Center. The event which has been going on all week is the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration.

Now, if you look at the crime statistics for the downtown Indianapolis area, you'll find they are very low. Let me define "downtown Indianapolis" as the area between West and East streets and the North and South splits of I-65/I-70.

Looking at the data in the last 90 days, there were 110 "crimes against persons" reported in the area. There were six cases of aggravated assault and three rapes reported. The vast majority of the reports (estimate 80%) filed by IMPD for the previous 90 days were for unaggravated assault.

Eight shootings is unheard of.

There is historical precedent, though, for a spike in violent crime the week of Black Expo. The 2007 expo saw shots fired into the air, but no one injured. People were shot in 2006. Fatal shootings were recorded twice in the 1990s, and Mike Tyson began his trek to infamy by raping a woman, also in the 90s.

Its so unfortunate that the event has been tarnished so many times. The Summer Celebration itself is a very good thing for the community. The security concerns outside the expo are puzzling to me. There is always a heavy police presence, yet incidents like this continue to happen.

What more can the city of Indianapolis and IBE do?