Crime Watch 8

2 face attempted robbery charges after Thursday shootout involving IMPD plainclothes officer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police believe a shootout that a plainclothes officer was involved in on Thursday afternoon may have stemmed from an argument over the sale of a vehicle, they said in a Friday news release.

Two men were injured in the shooting; no officers were hurt, according to police.

According to a summary of the incident released on Friday, an Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer in an unmarked car and plainclothes was at the intersection of East 30th Street and North Shadeland Avenue just before 1 p.m. Thursday, where multiple people in trucks were shooting at each other. The officer fired at a person armed with a rifle, later identified by police as a 19-year-old man, according to the release.

At that point, the people at the intersection fled the scene, and the officer followed one of the vehicles until he lost sight of them around East 30th and North Routiers Avenue, a little less than 2 miles from the first scene.

Meanwhile, police were called to the 6600 block of East 34th Street — about a mile away from the scene of the shootout — on a report of a person shot, where they found a truck on fire. A 44-year-old man was found with apparent gunshot wounds and another person who had been in the truck was found but was not injured. Police also found a gun, IMPD said.

The 44-year-old man was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition and was stable on Thursday night.

About 15 minutes later, police found the 19-year-old man at Community East Hospital, where he was stable. Hospital security detained another person who had been with the 19-year-old and one of the trucks from 30th and Shadeland. Those two people, who police have not identified, were arrested and face charges of attempted robbery. Police also found two guns outside the emergency room entrance, IMPD said.

A third truck believed to be involved in the shootout was found empty in the 2600 block of Calbert Drive, about 2 miles from where the shootout happened.

It is not known whether either of the men who were shot were shot by the plainclothes officer, who police on Friday had not identified. The officer was not wearing a body camera because he was in plainclothes. On Friday, he remained on administrative leave, per IMPD policy. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation while IMPD Internal Affairs conducts a separate investigation.

IMPD has a civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board, which will conduct a mandatory hearing for any use of deadly force against a person.

From IMPD:

Summary of Officer-Involved Incident

  • On January 28, 2021 at approximately 12:58 p.m., an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer was in an unmarked police vehicle stopped at an intersection facing southbound in the 3000 block of N. Shadeland Ave (location #1). Based upon forensic evidence and witness statements, investigators believe multiple individuals in the intersection were discharging firearms in the direction of other people.  The officer fired his weapon at one of the individuals (person #1) who was armed with a rifle.  The occupants of multiple vehicles involved fled the scene.  Photo #1 is from this location.
  • The officer was not in uniform and was in an unmarked vehicle.  The officer followed one of the vehicles until he lost sight of the vehicle in the area of E. 30th St and N. Routiers Avenue, at which point the officer stopped. 
  • At 1:01 p.m. IMPD officers were dispatched to the 6600 block of E. 34th Street (location #2) on a report of a person shot.  Officers located a vehicle on fire (photo #2) at that location and a 44-year-old male (person #2) who had apparent gunshot wounds and another occupant of the vehicle who was not injured (person #3).  Officers recovered a firearm at this location. 
  • IEMS arrived and transported person #2 to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition.  Person #2 is currently in stable condition.
  • At 1:13 p.m. IMPD officers were dispatched to Community East Hospital (location #3) at 1500 N. Ritter Avenue on a walk-in person shot.  Investigators later determined this individual to be Person #1, a 19-year-old male.  Community East Hospital security detained another individual (person #4) who was with person #1 and one of the trucks believed to be involved in the incident at location #1.  Two firearms were recovered outside the emergency entrance.  (photo #3)
  • At approximately 1:17 p.m. person #1 was transported to Eskenazi Hospital.  Person #1 is currently in stable condition.
  • Another truck believed to be involved in the incident at location #1 was recovered unoccupied at 2600 Calbert Drive (location #4).

Additional Investigative Information

  • Investigators believe the incident began at a separate location prior to arrival at location #1 and may have involved a disturbance regarding the sale of a vehicle.  Investigators believe all locations are connected to the same incident.
  • The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team responded to the scene to conduct the criminal investigation. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is engaged with the ongoing criminal investigation and will make a charging determination. A separate Internal Affairs investigation is also being conducted.
  • The officer who fired his weapon is on administrative leave as is standard procedure in these incidents.
  • It is unknown at this time if either of the persons shot were shot by the involved officer.
  • Persons #1 and #4 were arrested for attempted robbery.  Their names and booking photos are not available at this time for investigative purposes.
  • The officer involved was not wearing a body camera as he was in plain clothes. This was consistent with department policies.
  • Detectives continue to canvass the area for witnesses and other evidence. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 317-262-TIPS.