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2 officers shot, driver dead, 1 in custody after police pursuit leads to shootout

UPDATE: The suspect shot and killed Thursday after a police pursuit has been identified as 46-year-old Daniel Ghebrehiwet, the Marion County Coroner’s Office said Friday.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two Indianapolis police officers were wounded, a driver being pursued was shot dead by law enforcement, and a suspect was in custody after a shootout Thursday afternoon on the city’s east side.

The two wounded Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were stable with gunshot wounds not believed to be life-threatening, said Chris Bailey, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department assistant chief. The wounded IMPD officers were not immediately identified.

Bailey said members of the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force and the Lawrence Police Department were attempting to stop a vehicle at East 30th Street and Post Road about 12:40 p.m. Thursday. The law enforcement officers were looking for a suspect in a Lawrence Police Department shooting case, Bailey said.

The shootout followed a wave of Indianapolis violence that began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning, leaving three people dead and three others injured, police said.

During a news conference at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday outside Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, where the wounded officers were taken, Lawrence Police Chief Gary Woodruff declined to talk about the firearms investigation that led to the shootout.

IMPD’s Bailey said the pursued vehicle fled west on 30th Street. Law enforcement attempts to spin the car out to stop the pursuit were unsuccessful. The vehicle turned south into the parking lot of Keith Lynn Business Complex, 8641 E. 30th St. The vehicle went into a dead-end on the east side of the business complex and into a 6-foot fence, Bailey said. The vehicle then went off-road into a gap between the business complex and homes on the south side of the business complex.

The vehicle ended up lodged, and that’s when the shootout began between police and the driver.

Four officers, including the two who were wounded, shot at the driver, a 46-year-old man. Police did not immediately give the man’s identity.

An AR-15 style rifle was found with the dead driver, Bailey said. The rifles have gained notoriety due in part to their use in high-profile mass shootings.

Bailey said one police car was riddled with bullets in its hood, one side, the grill, and the front and back windshields.

The passenger fled from the lodged vehicle but was caught a short time later and taken to the IMPD headquarters, Bailey said.

Police wore bodycams, but Bailey said authorities do not yet have an idea what if anything might be available from the devices.

In August, the Indiana Crime Guns Task force announced it’d pulled 369 illegal guns off the street and made 397 arrests in a year. The group, made up of multiple local, state and federal law enforcement authorities, expanded its presence in August 2021 to cover Indianapolis and adjacent counties. The federal partners include Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The task force began with the Indianapolis Crime Gun Intelligence Center in January 2019.

During a news conference shortly before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near the shooting scene, Bailey expressed outrage.

“Every single day, these task force members from agencies throughout central Indiana, not just in Marion County — Carmel, Fishers, Lawrence, Boone County, Zionsville, the ATF — are all engaged and they have one mission: to make our community safer and to protect them from people who on a daily basis use firearms against their neighbors. We are fed up with it. The community should be fed up with it, and we have two officers that are lucky to be alive today, and they’re doing exactly what we want them to do despite all the odds, despite everything that’s stacked up against them, despite all the criticism they take every single day. They put on the uniform today and went out to get the people who are terrorizing our neighborhoods. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.”

During the news conference shortly before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday outside Eskenazi hospital, Mayor Joe Hogsett spoke about the two officers who were wounded. He said he’d visited the officers, and encouraged Indianapolis residents to “wrap their families and their IMPD family as a whole in their arms this evening.”

The Democrat mayor, who faces a reelection challenge May 3, said he did not have any details on Wednesday’s shootout. However, he said he’s noted a surge in convicted felons who illegibly possess firearms. He asked the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and ATF to look at Wednesday’s shootout and other recent cases in Indianapolis, including those cases involving sellers of guns to felons who are outlawed from having the weapons.

At the same news conference as the mayor, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor reiterated comments he’s made about going after people using guns for violence. He asked the community to pray for all IMPD officers and to work together to end the violence.

Eskenazi hospital had a heavy police presence immediately after the shooting. Roads in the area of the shootout had been reopened by Thursday night.

Anyone with information was asked to call IMPD Detective Sergeant Prater at the homicide office at 317-327-3475.  Alternatively, anyone with information can anonymously call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

Thursday’s Crime Watch 8 headlines


“Today we are reminded once again, what is put to risk each time the women and men of law enforcement put on their badge and step forward to stand the line on behalf of the communities they serve.

“We are collectively grateful that both of these officers are expected to recover from non-life threatening injuries.

“Yet that is only part of the story…

“Think of the courage it takes to boldly stand the line that separates good from evil at a time when:

“• On average an Officer is shot in the line of duty every 25 hours in our nation

“• On average an Officers dies in the line of duty every 52 hours

“• Approximately 165 Officers are assaulted daily

“• On average an Officer is exposed to a life altering tragic Critical Incident every other month

“Often, our politicians in charge are quick to blame the instruments used and leverage political agendas such as talking about “Gun” violence.

“Yet our residents and officers are left stuck in the middle of “human” violence often committed by repeat offenders with no value for the sanctity of life.

“These are matters of the human heart and we must get back to basics in addressing it.

“Therefore, we call on our community to pray for police and find ways to love your neighbor.

“Solutions will come from neighbors loving  neighbors, not from politicians trying to score political points.”

Rick Snyder, president, Fraternal Order of Police No. 86 in Indianapolis