Crime Watch 8

Man wounded in gunbattle with police charged in January murder

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 21-year-old man injured by police in a Tuesday exchange of gunfire has now been charged in a man’s January murder, Indianapolis Metropolitan police said Monday.

Tavon Macklin faces two counts of murder, one count of robbery resulting in bodily injury, one count of armed robbery and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Those charges are in connection to the Jan. 17 murder of Justin White, 29, who was found shot in the parking lot of a Marathon gas station at Keystone and Troy avenues.

According to police, two male suspects tried to rob two victims in the gas station parking lot but when they refused to comply, one of the suspects shot one of the victims. Both suspects then fled that scene in a light-colored sedan, police said. IMPD in January released these images of the suspects:

On Feb. 23, Crime Gun Intelligence Center detectives and special-weapons-and-tactics officers were in the process of tracking Macklin, who was wanted on two felony robbery warrants and for questioning in a homicide investigation.

Around 2:54 p.m., they spotted him as the passenger in an SUV traveling on the east side in the 3300 block of Forest Manor Avenue, near 30th Street and Sherman Drive and conducted a traffic stop in marked and unmarked police vehicles, IMPD said.

According to police, Macklin jumped out of the SUV and began firing his gun at officers, hitting an occupied patrol car. During the course of the gunbattle, seven officers fired their weapons, police said.

A SWAT medic provided Macklin with immediate first aid, and he was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition and was later upgraded to stable. No officers were injured in the incident, police said. The woman who was driving the vehicle was taken to a hospital as a precaution. She was released by Tuesday night. IMPD has not identified her.

At least three officers wore body cameras, which were active during the shooting, but the SWAT officers have not yet had cameras added to their uniforms as IMPD is awaiting equipment from a vendor, according to IMPD.

IMPD’s critical response team is leading the investigation into the exchange of gunfire, and IMPD’s internal affairs will conduct a parallel investigation, Bailey said. Those completed investigations will be reviewed by “the executive staff” and later the “citizen majority firearms review board,” Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said at the scene.

The IMPD officers who fired their guns are on administrative leave, a standard procedure in such shootings.

Macklin on Monday was in the Marion County Jail, online records show. No formal charges had been filed in connection to the gunbattle with police.