October 22, 2021

Indy 40 Days for Life fall campaign resumes after gun threat

A group of Hispanic members of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Noblesville, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese take part on Oct. 9 in the 40 Days for Life prayer campaign outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Indianapolis. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

A group of Hispanic members of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Noblesville, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese take part on Oct. 9 in the 40 Days for Life prayer campaign outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Indianapolis. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Natalie Hoefer

The Indianapolis 40 Days for Life fall campaign resumed on Oct. 19, nine days after it was shut down due to a man threatening participants with a gun.

The incident occurred on Oct. 10. According to an e-mail from Linda Kile, one of the coordinators for the Indianapolis 40 Days for Life campaign, participants were praying in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion center on the city’s northwest side when a man approached them from the Women’s Care Center parking lot to the north saying “something sternly in Spanish. He then told them in English that they were about to die.

“He proceeded to walk onto Planned Parenthood’s property. One of the prayer team realized that he had a gun and was approaching the prayer group.

“One of them had a van, so everyone got in the van as quickly as possible and left the area. Someone from the group called 911 as they were driving away. The people involved did absolutely the correct thing.”

Kile and Timothy O’Donnell, director of the Indianapolis 40 Days for Life campaign, consulted with the National 40 Days for Life team. The national team advised shutting down the Indianapolis campaign until its safety could be assured.

In a phone interview with The Criterion, Kile detailed her multiple attempts to contact the Northwest District office of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), but as of Oct. 19 had yet to speak with an officer.

The National 40 Days for Life team put her in touch with an attorney from the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm. That attorney enlisted the help of a peer. They, too, had no success in reaching the IMPD Northwest District office as of The Criterion going to press on Oct. 19.

“I did get a picture of the license plate of the guy who posed the threat,” said Kile. “He left his car parked at Women’s Care Center for several days. I was able to forward that to the attorney from the Thomas More Society. They’re going to try to track the person down that way.”

Kile said she “did hear a rumor that [the man with the gun] had been apprehended, which makes sense since his car was at the Women’s Care Center for multiple days. But I’ve had no confirmation that that’s true.”

In an e-mail on Oct. 18 to local 40 Days for Life participants, Kile announced that the national organization will provide a security team at the prayer vigil site from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.—the normal vigil hours—for the remainder of the fall campaign.

“Before we sent people back out to the sidewalk, we wanted to make sure it was safe,” Kile told The Criterion. “National [40 Days for Life organization] told me they are handling all the arrangements and I don’t have to worry about them. National is handling everything.

“Now that we have security there, I feel much more comfortable encouraging people to go back out there,” said Kile. “Of course, it’s up to each individual if they don’t feel comfortable going to the site to pray. But I have all the confidence in the world in the national team and that the security they’re providing for us is going to be top notch and on top of things.”
 

(The Indianapolis 40 Days for Life fall campaign takes place in the public right of way in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion center at 8590 Georgetown Road. Vigil hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Monday-Saturday, and on Sunday from noon-7 p.m. All are invited to pray peacefully at the site during those hours. To sign up for a specific time slot, go to 40daysforlife.com/en/Indianapolis.)

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!