INDIANAPOLIS — New details obtained by Call 6 Investigates in the shooting death of Dreasjon Reed by an IMPD officer last month show that the officer-involved fired his gun more than 10 times and the gun found next to Reed’s body was also fired twice.
Reed was live streaming on Facebook as he led police on a vehicle pursuit, parked the car and then jumped out and ran on May 6.
The action was viewed by thousands of people while it was happening, and yet so many of the details about exactly what happened that day remain unknown over a month later.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says Officer DeJoure Mercer briefly chased Reed on foot before attempting to stop the 21-year-old with a taser. What happened next is where IMPD and Reed’s family have differing accounts.
IMPD claims that Reed fired a weapon at Officer Mercer, who then exchanged gunfire, fatally wounding Reed. A weapon was found lying next to Reed’s body after the shooting.
The Reed family legal team claims the surveillance video Call 6 Investigates shared last week — that shows Reed running from a car with what appears to be a white T-shirt in one hand and two cell phones in his other hand — is evidence that he was not holding a gun at the time.
Based on that information, the Reed family attorneys contend that Dreasjon Reed did not fire at Officer Mercer.
Call 6 Investigates has learned that the weapon found lying next to Reed had been fired twice and two casings were found at the scene. The investigation also showed that Officer Mercer fired his gun more than 10 times during the exchange.
The investigation will determine whether the amount of gunfire used by Officer Mercer was justified or excessive.
Ballistics from the investigation has also not been completed, so more precise details have not been released at this time.
Call 6 Investigates has also learned that the gun in question matches the description of the weapon seen in Dreasjon's front waistband during the Facebook Live stream and two casings from that gun were found near Reed’s body.
Those casings were then put into a national law enforcement database system called the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network or NIBIN — which is run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Once that information is processed, it’s then shared with all local and state law enforcement agencies to help connect sources of gun-related violence and crimes.
Call 6 Investigates has learned that when the casings found at the scene from the weapon that was located by Reed’s body were run through the NIBIN system, they came up as a match to casings found at a different scene somewhere else where damage from bullets was found and reported.
What Call 6 has not been able to verify are the details about that second scene, including where, when or how the casings were discovered. It is also unknown if the person believed to have fired the weapon at that scene was ever identified.
All parties involved in the investigation received an email Monday morning with all information that would be included in this Call 6 Investigates report on Tuesday and were given a chance to respond.
IMPD and John Kautzman, the attorney for Officer Dejoure Mercer, have both declined to comment.
Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury issued the following statement: "The ethical rules do not permit me to comment on the details of a pending investigation."
Attorneys for the Reed family also issued a formal statement, which you can read below.
"The only thing we can definitively say about Dreasjon “Sean” Reed’s firearm is that he checked it in with TSA when he moved from Texas to Indiana. We would love to ask Dreasjon more about how he came to own his firearm, but we cannot because he was stolen from us by Officer De’joure Mercer.
This NIBIN report, which was likely released to the media by IMPD, does not come as a surprise to us. We fully expected that during our campaign for the truth to be told, we would be hit with alternative facts. Alternative facts make this report highly suspicious given that they directly contradict testimony from multiple eyewitnesses. Furthermore, we repeatedly requested, both publicly and privately, that we be present for any ballistics testing for this precise reason—to avoid the question of whether evidence was being manipulated. IMPD has been in possession of all of this evidence for more than a month, with no oversight until recently. The fix was in from day one.
We look forward to proceeding in the federal action we filed last week so that we can finally have access to this purported evidence and all reports that have yet to be released. We have collected sufficient evidence that warrants the arrest and prosecution of Officer Mercer and the termination of Officer Scott. The Chief and Deputy Chief will also have to answer for their role in this matter. Now, more than ever, we will not waiver in our mission for justice for Dreasjon."
MORE INVESTIGATION COVERAGE | New surveillance video shows moments before Dreasjon Reed killed by IMPD officer | Family claims new surveillance video proves Dreasjon Reed couldn’t have fired a weapon at IMPD | Family, attorneys question IMPD account of Dreasjon Reed’s death | Man killed by IMPD was live-streaming chase, moments leading up to shooting |Family of Dreasjon Reed files lawsuit against IMPD for ‘excessive force’ & ‘wrongful death’