by: Mike Lowe, Andy Koval Posted: Jul 6, 2021 / 06:48 PM CDT / Updated: Jul 6, 2021 / 07:14 PM CDT
GARY Ind. — The Mayor of Gary announced a new public safety ordinance after a beloved former firefighter and Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer was gunned down at a gas station last month.
The family of Wallace Broadnax gathered Tuesday at the Clark gas station where the 70-year-old local legend was shot and killed last month. On June 26, Broadnax stopped at the gas station, located 2200 block of Grant Street, while on his way to work at the family’s funeral home.
“He was backing away from these boys, they are pretty young and they just panicked, ran on foot, didn’t even get anything” said nephew Anthony Broadnax told WGN News after the shooting. “Completely senseless.”
They gathered on the same day Gary Mayor Jerome Prince announced that two teens, 14 and 15, are now facing murder charges for the death of the man affectionally-known as “Wallygator.”
The case was closed in one day due to an outpouring of information from the community, Gary Police Chief Brian Evans said.
Broadnax was elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993 after winning a state title as part of Roosevelt High School in 1968 — the first all-Black Northwest Indiana school to win a state basketball title.
Broadnax went on to play professional basketball in Europe before returning home to work as a Gary firefighter and paramedic for 25 years.
On Tuesday, Mayor Prince also revealed “The Wallace Broadnax ordinance,” which would require a 24-hour armed security guard if a business has had a violent crime on its property in the last two years.
“Businesses with a recent history of violence are going to be required to have armed security – particularly in certain hours from dusk until dawn,” Prince said.
For the Broadnax family, there is hope the killing is the tragic event that finally spurs action in the city.
“What our hope is – legislation such as the Broadnax amendment – proves that you can have a successful business in Gary when it’s safe,” Anthony Broadnax said.
Last year, the Gary City Council voted against a similar ordinance — but the mayor said he fully expects the passage of the ordinance by July 21.