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Felonies’ suspect dies after gunbattle with IMPD officers

Man dead in east side police shooting – News 8 at 10

LATEST: On Feb. 1, IMPD identified the officers who fired their weapons as Michael Sojka, Nickolas Smith, and Andrew Hibschman.

UPDATE: The Marion County Coroner identified the suspect who died after a gunbattle with police as 48-year-old Raphael Nafees Dekemper.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A suspect in multiple felonies died after a gunbattle Thursday afternoon during a “high-risk traffic stop” on the city’s east side, says the acting chief of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

IMPD officers made the traffic stop at 5:25 p.m. Thursday at North Temple Avenue and Brookside Parkway North Drive. That’s along Brookside Park just west of North Rural Street.

About two minutes later, medics were sent to a reported gunshot victim.

Acting Police Chief Chris Bailey told the news media about 8 p.m. Thursday that the 48-year-old man was wanted in connection to crimes in January where shots were fired at people at a home near 16th Street and Arlington Avenue.

The man, who has not yet been publicly identified, was initially listed in critical condition at Eskenazi Hospital.

No officers were hurt in the shooting.

Bailey says the man was wanted on a warrant for possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon; criminal recklessness; pointing a firearm; and invasion of privacy.

“Tonight, officers observed the wanted subject get into a vehicle on the passenger side. Officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop in the 2600 block of Brookside Parkway North Drive using multiple, fully marked police vehicles,” Bailey said.

“A high-risk traffic stop is commonly referred to as a felony stop, where officers use distance, do not approach the vehicle, and use verbal commands from the cover of their police vehicles, using them as barriers, and ordering the people inside the car out one at a time.

“An officer was using their PA (public-address) system to order the persons out of the car, and, within seconds, the suspect exited the vehicle on the passenger side with a handgun.

“We preliminarily believe and detectives believe that the suspect fired at officers first. The officers returned fire from the department-issued firearms, resulting in the suspect being hit by gunfire.”

The woman driving the car containing the suspect surrendered to police without incident, Bailey said. The driver was not hurt.

On social media, IMPD shared three photos of its vehicles damaged with bullet holes. Another photo showed the suspect’s gun laying amid fallen leaves.

The police shooting is believed to be IMPD’s first of 2024. Last year, the city recorded 18 police shootings.

Bodycams were being worn. In the past, IMPD generally has released an edited video from the bodycams about a week after its police shootings.

IMPD does not publicly release the names of officers in police shootings until the department’s intelligence unit completes a threat assessment.

After police shootings, IMPD’s critical response team, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and, if needed, the Marion County Coroner’s Office conduct investigations.

In addition, IMPD’s internal affairs unit conducts a separate investigation. Officers who fired guns are placed on administrative leave.

Once all investigations are complete and any criminal process concludes, which can take years, the Indianapolis Use of Force Board will review the police shooting.

Anyone with information on the police shooting was asked to call Detective Dustin Keedy at the homicide office at 317-327-3475.

(WISH Photos/Adele Reich)

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