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IMPD officer fatally shoots 35-year-old who fled traffic stop, tried to hide in tree

IMPD officer shoots suspect who fled from traffic stop, tried to hide in tree; from News 8 at 5 p.m.

LATEST: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on Oct. 31, 2023, on the Nixle platform named the police officer who fired a weapon Oct. 24 at 25th Street and Columbia Avenue as Patrol Officer Gunnar Gossett. He’s been with the department for five years. The police shooting led to the death of suspect Darcel Edwards, 35.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 35-year-old man died sometime after an Indianapolis police shooting, the Marion County Coroner’s Office revealed Friday.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department also confirmed Darcel Edwards’s death in a Friday update on the Nixle platform.

An IMPD officer, who has not been publicly identified as of Friday, about 4 a.m. Tuesday was patrolling the area near East 25th Street and Park Avenue, heard gunshots and saw a vehicle speed away.

The officer pulled the vehicle over for a traffic stop, at which point the car stopped, and the driver got out, says IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams.

“The driver exited the vehicle, made a comment to the officer about another vehicle hitting his car, and then went back to his car and fled. The officer did not pursue the vehicle but continued to follow the vehicle,” Adams told the news media at the shooting scene.

The IMPD officer briefly lost track of the vehicle and found it a short time later at 25th Street and Columbia Avenue, where Adams says the vehicle had “careened between a pole and a fence on the northeast corner.”

After the crash, the driver left the vehicle and ran away. Officers found him hiding in a tree behind some houses on the west side of the street.

Officers told the suspect multiple times to “exit the tree,” Adams says, but he refused to come down.

“This went on for several minutes where officers were telling him to come out of the tree. He was making comments about a medical condition and his well-being. Officers told him ‘not to reach several times,’ and at some point, the suspect made a comment to the point of, ‘I’m going to my pocket then, kill me.’ One officer discharged his firearm, striking the suspect.”

The suspect was transported to a hospital in critical but stable condition, IMPD said Tuesday.

Officers found a gun holder on the suspect, but a gun “has not been located at this point,” IMPD said in a release issued Tuesday.

According to IMPD, Tuesday’s police shooting was 13th in 2023. A 14th IMPD police shooting happened Thursday night.

IMPD says it had 10 police shootings in 2022, but they had an even larger amount in 2015: 20.

Russell Hicks, an Indianapolis resident, said he watched the police shooting unfold. “I got up and saw all of the police and the tape and reporters and whatnot in the alley, and just trying to make sense of it all.”

Crystal Eversole, an Indianapolis resident, said, “It’s kind of scary because you never know if somebody might try to run up in your house if they’re running from the police. That’s why I always keep my doors locked.”

No officers were injured in the shooting. The officer who fired his weapon was placed on administrative leave.

Tuesday’s incident was the second Indianapolis police shooting in five days and the sixth since mid-September. It is being investigated by the IMPD Critical Incident Response Team, IMPD Internal Affairs, and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Anyone with information should contact Sgt. Michael Duke at the IMPD Homicide Office by calling 317-327-3475. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

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