INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer discharges his service weapon wounding what police believe to be a mentally challenged man.
Just before 3:15 p.m. on 08/01/2016, IMPD officers were dispatched to the 5700 block of Shelby St. to check the welfare of what is believed to be a 30-year-old mentally challenged male. The caller, the male’s mother, advised that they were following the subject, but lost sight of him in the area of 6000 Manker St. Officers met with the mother, who stated that the male, her son, was distraught and threatened to commit “suicide by cop.” Officers broadcasted that the male had threatened to commit suicide by cop and to use caution if they located him.
Moments later another IMPD officer found the male walking in the 5500 block of Manker St. The officer got out of his vehicle to approach the male, but the male began jogging towards the officer. The officer began back peddling in effort to create space between the man and himself and gave loud verbal commands for the man to stop. The man ignored the officer’s commands and jogged faster, in an aggressive and threatening manner at the officer. The officer, having limited options, then discharged his service weapon at the male, striking him. The male then fell to the ground and the officer immediately radioed for EMS and additional officers to assist. EMS personnel transported the male to Eskenazi Hospital in stable condition. It is believed that the male suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The shooting is being investigated by IMPD’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). A separate and independent internal investigation will be conducted, as is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting, by IMPD’s Internal Affairs Unit to ensure compliance with departmental policy. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is involved and will be consulted throughout the investigative process, which includes up to or including the Grand Jury, with civilian oversight. In addition the IMPD Firearms Review Board will ensure the departmental use of force was reasonable. The involved officer will be placed on Administrative Leave pending the conclusion of the investigation. IMPD’s wellness program will also be involved to address any concerns from officers involved in the incident.
IMPD officers recently received Level II Mental Crisis Training to help equip them to identify and deescalate situations involving mental/emotional subjects. In this event, which is extremely difficult for officers, the officer did not have an opportunity to counsel or speak with the male before he began charging at him in an aggressive and threatening manner. In a situation where the life of civilians or officers are in jeopardy, officers only have split seconds to take action in an effort to preserve life, including their own.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317)262-TIPS(8477). All tips given via Crime Stoppers are considered anonymous.