Crime Watch 8

Man faces gun charges after police officers fired shots at him

BARGERSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Gun charges, including two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by an alien, were filled Friday against a 46-year-old Speedway, Indiana, man who had two police officers fire weapons at him, documents from the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Efrain Ramirez also was charged in Johnson Circuit Court with three counts of resisting law enforcement, and four counts of pointing a firearm at another. No court date had been set by Friday afternoon, according to online court records.

The charges arose from interactions Dec. 9 and 10 with Bargersville police officers, Johnson County sheriff’s deputies and an Indiana State Police trooper, according to the probable cause affidavit. A Bargersville officer and the state police trooper fired shots at Ramirez while trying to apprehend him.

A Bargersville police officer first encountered Ramirez shortly before 9:30 p.m. Dec. 9 near State Road 135 and Whiteland Road, the affidavit said. The officer found Ramirez driving a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 truck and turning without signaling. The officer stopped Ramirez, who said he didn’t have a driver’s license, but denied he’d been drinking after the officer smelled alcohol coming from Ramirez. The officer then asked Ramirez for identification, but instead of providing it, Ramirez drove off. The officer caught up with Ramirez at a driveway on East Old Plank Road, where he left the truck and ran on foot. The officer followed on foot, and another officer assisted.

Later, as the foot chase continued onto Baldwin Street, the officers observed Ramirez carrying what one described as a “chrome/silver handgun,” which he pointed at the officers with his “finger on the trigger,” the affidavit said. The gun was later identified as a Cobra Enterprise .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol.

The officers lost sight of Ramirez at a garage on South West Street.

Police later found a Smith & Wesson MP-15 rifle in the truck he’d abandoned.

The next morning, Dec. 10, police from the three agencies began a search for Ramirez. A Bargersville officer, William Johnson, responded to a notification of a male who matched the description of Ramirez, and attempted to confront him at Old Plank Road and Short Street, the affidavit said. Johnson drew his weapon and commanded Ramirez to “get on the ground,” but he instead fled into a home’s backyard.

Later, Johnson and 11-year deputy Steve Love caught up with Ramirez at homes along Old Trail Drive, the affidavit said. They commanded him to “get on the ground” and show his hands, but said he instead reached inside his pants and pulled out a “silver semi-automatic handgun” and “pointed it towards his own head.” Love commanded Ramirez to drop the gun, but he instead went toward a gate and pointed the handgun at Love. The deputy, who was wearing a body camera, then fired three shots at Ramirez.

Ramirez ran into another backyard on Old Trail Drive, where he encountered state police Sgt. Thomas Burgett, whose been with the agency 14 years. The sergeant commanded Ramirez “to drop the gun,” but he instead pointed it at Burgett, who fired 11 shots at Ramirez in response, the affidavit said. Burgett was not wearing a camera, although the agency has the recording devices.

Ramirez initially dropped to the ground after the 11 shots were fired, but eventually tried to stand up. At that time, a lieutenant with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office tried to keep Ramirez on the ground until Bargersville police officer William Johnson used a Tazer on Ramirez. After that, other officers took Ramirez into custody and rendered first aid before medics arrived.

Investigators have since learned that Ramirez was arrested five times by the U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2000, 2008, 2010 and 2016, and deported to Mexico.

Ramirez was in the Johnson County Jail in Franklin on Friday.

A news release from the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office said, “In addition to the Johnson County charges, court records show Ramirez has a pending Marion County for a 2015 Operating While Intoxicated and Leaving the Scene of an Accident case for which he failure to appear. The Prosecutor’s Office has also requested the Sheriff’s Office reach out to federal authorities to try and have an immigration hold placed on Ramirez due to his status.”

The release says Ramirez is from Indianapolis, but court documents say he lives in Speedway.

The status of the state police sergeant and the Johnson County deputy who fired their weapons at Ramirez was not immediately available in the documents shared by the prosecutor’s office.