Docs: Shoplifting suspect told officer ‘you’re gonna die tonight,’ then shot him

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man who tried to shoplift a cart full of merchandise from an east side Lowe’s repeatedly told an IMPD officer, “I give up,” but instead punched him, gouged his eyes and told him, “You’re gonna die tonight” before shooting the officer, according to charging documents.

“That’s the gentleman I attempted to stop and he ended up trying to kill me,” IMPD Officer Eric Rosenbaum, who was shot Sunday night, said when he identified suspect William Allen in a photo array.

Allen, 40, is accused of shoplifting power tools and other merchandise from a Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Sunday, then resisting and attempting to kill the officer who was trying to arrest him. He faces felony charges of attempted murder, disarming law enforcement and resisting law enforcement and misdemeanor charges of theft and resisting. 

“Man, I didn’t do anything”

Rosenbaum was working the middle shift Sunday when he responded to a report at the Cracker Barrel at 2340 Post Dr. where a person was “blocking the vehicle of a theft suspect” from a Lowe’s Home Improvement store at 8801 E. 25th St. He approached the area from the east and saw a man wearing a white shirt and black shorts who “looked very nervous,” court documents say.

A person on a bicycle got Rosenbaum’s attention and said, “That’s the turd you’re looking for,” telling the officer the suspect had taken off a piece of clothing at the fence. Rosenbaum confirmed with dispatch that the suspect had facial hair and then “decided to have a chat with” the suspect, court documents say.

Rosenbaum knew Morning Star Drive and Galaxy Lane made a loop with 25th Street and approached the suspect in a way that would let back-up officers come if necessary. He told the man later identified as Allen to come to him. Allen asked what was going on and told Rosenbaum, “Man, I didn’t do anything,” according to court documents. 

“You done f–ked up now” 

Twice Rosenbaum told Allen to put his hands on the car. The second time, Allen “said something to the effect of, ‘alright man, you got me, I give up'” and put his hands on the car. But as Rosenbaum got his handcuffs out, Allen spun away and pushed away from the officer. Rosenbaum told Allen to “chill out, don’t move, we’ll get this figured out” and notified dispatch by radio that he had a resister, court documents say.

According to court documents, Rosenbaum tried to “hip toss” Allen to the ground to take him into custody and when that didn’t work, he deployed his Taser. But Allen had moved closer to Rosenbaum, making the Taser less effective. Allen ripped the wires out of the Taser cartridge and said to the officer, “You done f–ked up now.” 

Allen ran, jumping a chain-link gate in a yard on Galaxy Lane, but Rosenbaum kicked the gate open. That’s when Allen for the second time said he gave up. When Rosenbaum tried to “hip toss” Allen to the ground for a second time, the officer felt his right shoulder dislocate. He tried to strike Allen but couldn’t move his arm above his waist, and Allen rolled Rosenbaum onto this back, sat on top of him and began gouging the officer’s eyes, leaving Rosenbaum “virtually blind with limited ability to see,” according to court documents. 

“You’re gonna die tonight”

Allen pulled the officer’s radio microphone and ear piece out of Rosenbaum. The officer tried to call for help but could not see and could not find his radio. Officers searching for Rosenbaum and his “resister” could not find him at that time, either. According to court documents, Allen then punched Rosenbaum in the jaw three to four times and said, “You’re gonna die tonight.”

That’s when Allen grabbed for Rosenbaum’s knife, and when he was unsuccessful, began to pull the officer’s gun from its holster. Rosenbaum’s shoulder was still dislocated, and he could not keep the gun from Allen’s grasp. The gun came far enough out of the holster for Allen to shoot, striking the officer in the upper right thigh and hitting his femur, according to charging documents. 

In the struggle, Rosenbaum tried to roll out from under Allen while getting his gun back in his holster, but Allen had the gun and was raising it to the officer’s head as they faced each other on the ground. Rosenbaum tried to force the gun downward, where he was wearing a ballistic vest. Then he realized his shoulder was popped back in place and he could used his right arm again. He grabbed the front of his gun, twisted it out of Allen’s hands and attempted to shoot Allen in the head. But the gun “malfunctioned and did not fire,” according to court documents. 

Then the officer tried to stab Allen, but the suspect had pushed way from him. Rosenbaum stood up, still temporarily blind in his right eye and with limited sight in his left. For the third time, Allen said he gave up and “not to shoot him.” Then Allen turned and ran, court documents say.

After Allen ran, Rosenbaum was able to notify officers by radio that he had been shot.

Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department found Rosenbaum and applied a tourniquet to his leg. They put Rosenbaum in the back of a police car and took him to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. Police found Allen a short time later hiding between two buildings in the yard where he shot Rosenbaum, according to court documents. He was arrested. 

“Yeah, I got kids to feed, I don’t know what else to do”

A head cashier working at Lowe’s Sunday night told police she was locking up the garden gates when she saw a person she described as a middle age, white male about 200 pounds with brown hair “running out of the store pushing a cart full of” power tools and equipment. She said he ran with the cart to the parking lot at the Cracker Barrel restaurant, where a white truck was pulling up, according to court documents. She later positively identified Allen as the suspect in a photo array.

The driver of the white truck and his girlfriend were heading to Cracker Barrel when they saw a person later identified as Allen pushing the cart of merchandise toward a gold Saturn. The driver told police he could hear all the theft devices on the goods “beeping simultaneously” and used his truck to block in the Saturn, according to court documents. 

When the driver asked Allen if he was stealing, Allen said, “Yeah, I got kids to feed, I don’t know what else to do.” Then the driver called 911, court documents say. 

After Allen had loaded the Saturn with the stolen tools and equipment, the car wouldn’t start, so he put the merchandise back in the cart and pushed it toward the Lowe’s. He got back in the Saturn, but it still wouldn’t start, so he ran toward the La Quinta Inn that’s east of the Lowe’s and the Cracker Barrel, according to a police interview with the driver of the white truck. 

Police found a bullet casing, a fixed-edge knife and a cellphone on Galaxy Drive. After conducting a search warrant for the Saturn in the parking lot, which is registered to Allen’s mother, they found Allen’s wallet, according to court documents.

Allen appeared in court Friday and remained in the Marion County Jail, online records show. His next hearing is scheduled for June 26.

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