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Black Indianapolis man shot by cops after calling police to report robbery...

stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
Questions surround IMPD officer's shooting of homeowner

Police still don't know what the nine-year IMPD veteran said, if anything, to an armed east-side homeowner before shooting him once in the stomach early Tuesday.

Questions remain about how the homeowner, who called police to say his wife was robbed at gunpoint, approached officers as they arrived at the scene.

It's unclear if what the homeowner was wearing matched the description of the robbery suspect, or whether he raised his weapon before being wounded.

But officials are certain that the incident should not have ended with the man who called for help being shot and hospitalized by the very officers he called for help.

"Our homeowner, the individual who was trying his best protect himself and his wife from any other harm, was shot mistakenly by our officers," IMPD Major Richard Riddle said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference. "This incident occurred within a few seconds, and those judgement calls are made within a few split seconds.

"She was victimized, and unfortunately now, her husband was victimized as well."

According to IMPD Assistant Chief Randal Taylor, the investigation began shortly before 4:30 a.m., when a man called 911 and said an armed suspect stole his wife’s car keys in front of the couple’s home in the 3600 block of Foxtail Drive and drove off in their black Nissan Sentra.

The homeowner, who is black, described the suspect who robbed his wife as a black man wearing a red shirt and carrying a rifle. In a 911 call played during the news conference, the man can be heard referring to the suspect's weapon as a "long gun."

While on the call with dispatchers, the homeowner wife's can he heard sobbing and frantically trying to explain what happened in the background. The homeowner does his best to comfort her.

"It's OK. It's OK," the homeowner repeats.

At the end of the 911 call, the homeowner can be heard shouting "is that him?" in reference to the possible suspect. The 911 call then disconnects and dispatchers are unable to reconnect with the homeown

At no point, does the homeowner tell dispatchers that he is armed.

When they arrived at the scene, officers saw a black Nissan sedan backed into the driveway of the home with the lights on, Taylor said. Officers took cover and ran the plates of the vehicle.

But before police could learn who owned the car, the garage door opened and the homeowner came out.

That is when the officer shot the homeowner once in the midsection, Taylor said. A second officer on the scene, an eight-year veteran, did not fire his weapon.

In the 911 call, no vocal exchange could be heard between the homeowner and officer who fired his weapon. Riddle and Taylor said it was still unclear whether the officer gave any verbal commands to the homeowner.

The handgun the homeowner was carrying was recovered from the home, but there was no indication that the homeowner raised his weapon, fired his weapon or brandished it in a threatening way.

After the shooting, the suspect was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in serious condition. He is expected to survive.

"This was a tragic event with numerous circumstance that collided all at once," Taylor said. "I don't know of any officer who goes out wanting to get into a shootout with anyone, let alone this situation with a homeowner. ... This situation was tragic and unforeseen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the homeowner ... who was mistakenly shot by our officers and we wish him a quick recovery."

The robber, who held the man’s wife at gunpoint and took her car keys, had fled before police arrived. Riddle said it doesn't appear that the suspect got away with anything else, but he remains on the loose.

“Police are given pretty sketchy information most of the time,” said Thomas J. Aveni, executive director of the Police Policy Studies Council, a research-based, law enforcement training and consultation corporation.

When officers arrive at a scene, Aveni said, they only know what the caller has told dispatchers. Accurate suspect descriptions and detailed explanations of the crime that has occurred are rare, making it difficult for officers to know what they’re walking into.

Aveni, a former law enforcement officer, said factors such as light, proximity and disposition of the gun would also play a role in the decision to use deadly force.

Although it was dark Tuesday morning when officers arrived, it’s unclear how far away police were from the homeowner when he was shot, IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams told IndyStar.

The shooting occurred in a neighborhood near 38th Street and German Church Road.

Angela Parrott, who has lived in the area for about a year, was concerned that a homeowner was shot trying to protect his family.

"I think that's really crazy. What do we have, trigger-happy police officers out here now?" Parrott said.

Police are expected to release more information about the shooting Tuesday afternoon.




“Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
Chi Snow
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