Crime Watch 8

IMPD: 20-person fight about social media preceded Sunday police shooting that injured suspect

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man shot Sunday by an Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer was part of a fight over social media that involved 20 people armed with guns, pepper spray, scissors and a metal pipe, police said Monday.

Officers arriving at the scene, around 11:54 a.m. in the 4500 block of Pleasant Run Parkway North Drive, were met with “multiple shots being fired in multiple directions” during the fight. The address corresponds to the Parkway Terrace Apartments.

At a Sunday afternoon briefing at the scene of the fight and shooting, Sgt. Grace Sibley with IMPD Public Affairs said the man shot by police had fired at least one shot at the officers. A Monday incident summary said the man pointed a firearm at the arriving officers but did not say he fired a shot at the officers. The summary said he pointed the firearm after running from the scene to a nearby car and receiving verbal commands from the officers. The man, who police have not identified, was released Monday from IU Health Methodist Hospital, arrested, and faces a preliminary charge of aggravated battery, pending a final charging decision by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Two women were also found shot at the scene and taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, where they were stable on Sunday. On Sunday, police said they believed the man shot by an officer was responsible for injuring those women. Monday’s summary of the police shooting said a woman was also involved in the shooting and was taken into custody on Sunday. On Monday, IMPD had determined that the man shot by police and the woman taken into custody shot the two women as officers were arriving at the scene of the fight.

No additional information about the social media dispute that prompted the 20-person fight was immediately provided by police. No other arrests or injuries from the fight were listed in the summary of the incident.

On Sunday, Sibley said the officers who responded to the scene were from the department’s southeast district, which has not yet received body-worn cameras. Monday’s summary added that an assisting officer from the department’s east district did have a body-worn camera, and it was activated.

The officer who fired a weapon is off work and on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in police-shooting incidents, IMPD said. The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team will conduct a criminal investigation into the incident, while Internal Affairs will complete its own investigation, police said.

Summary of incident released Monday afternoon by IMPD:

  • On September 20, 2020, at approximately 11:54 a.m., Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Southeast District officers were called to the 4500 block of Pleasant Run Parkway N. Drive on a report of a disturbance.
  • At approximately 11:58 a.m., IMPD officers arrived on scene at 4500 Pleasant Run Parkway N. Drive. Both were in full IMPD uniform and drove fully marked police vehicles.
  • Upon arrival, officers found a disturbance involving approximately 20 people with weapons, some armed with guns, pepper spray, scissors, and a metal pipe. As officers approached the disturbance, they encountered multiple shots being fired in multiple directions. Through the investigation, it has been determined that the disturbance stemmed from a social media disagreement.
  • Officers encountered a male (person #1) involved in the disturbance. Person #1 observed the arrival of the officers and fled to a nearby parked vehicle, visibly carrying a firearm.
  • As officers approached the vehicle, they gave verbal commands.
  • Person #1 pointed a weapon at the officers.
  • One officer fired his weapon at person #1, striking him.
  • Assisting officers apprehended person #1 without any further incident and provided medical aid. Person #1 was transported by ambulance to Methodist Hospital in stable condition.
  • Two female victims were located, both with injuries consistent with gunshot wounds. Officers provided medical aid to the victims. They were transported to Eskenazi Hospital in stable condition.
  • Assisting officers apprehended a female (person #2) who had been involved in the shooting, without incident.
  • Through the investigation, detectives have determined the two victims were shot by person #1 and person #2 as officers first arrived on scene. Other weapons including scissors, metal pipe, pepper spray, and a metal pipe were also used by individuals during the disturbance.
  • A handgun was recovered from the vehicle where person #1 was located.
  • An additional gun was recovered from inside an apartment. This gun is believed to have been used to shoot one of the female victims.
  • Person #1 has since been released from Methodist Hospital and preliminarily arrested for aggravated battery.
  • The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will make all final charging decisions related to the incident.
  • The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team is handling the criminal investigation. An Internal Affairs investigation is also ongoing.
  • The officer who fired his weapon is currently off work on administrative leave as is standard procedure in these incidents.
  • IMPD is in the process of deploying body worn cameras to beat officers and street supervisors. Deployment is ongoing to officers on East, North, and Downtown districts. The first arriving officers were assigned to Southeast district, which has not yet begun body worn camera deployment. An assisting officer from East District was equipped with a body worn camera, which was activated.