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IMPD: 'Quick & violent struggle' led to officer-involved shooting

Posted at 2:42 PM, Oct 20, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis police say an officer was attacked Wednesday by a suspect's brother during a theft investigation.

The officer was called to the 100 block of North Denny Street just after 3 p.m. Wednesday on a report of a theft in progress.

Once there, the officer made contact with the caller, who said her father, 39-year-old Stephen Cole, had stolen her cellphone and debit card.

MORE | IMPD officer involved in shooting on east side

Cole reportedly refused to cooperate with the officer and physically resisted being detained. That's when his brother, 50-year-old Gerald Cole, reportedly became involved, according to the incident narrative provided by IMPD Major Richard Riddle at a press conference Thursday:

"Cole resisted the officer's attempt to detain him by pulling away and preventing the officer from grabbing his arm in an attempt to sit him down. The two then went to the ground in order for the officer to handcuff Cole, who was still resisting. Stephen Cole was lying on his stomach and the officer was on top of him. The officer was then attacked by an uninvolved third party, who happened to be 50-year-old Gerald Cole. Gerald Cole came up, attacked the officer from behind and attempted to disarm the officer by attempting to remove the officer's duty weapon from its holster. A quick and violent struggle over the gun ensued and the officer was able to maintain control of his weapon. The officer fired two rounds at Gerald Cole, who was a short distance away from the officer when he was struck. These two rounds impacted Mr. Cole in his arm and in his back. The officer immediately requested EMS to the scene to provide treatment of Mr. Cole's injuries."

Riddle said as of Thursday afternoon, Gerald Cole was reportedly in serious condition at Eskenazi Hospital, but was not believed to have life-threatening injuries.

IMPD identified the officer involved in the incident as Officer James Perry, a two-year veteran of IMPD. Perry was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting, per standard department procedure.

Riddle said investigators believe Perry's firearm was the only weapon involved in the incident.

Indianapolis police officers were involved in approximately 1,767 use-of-force incidents between August 2014 & August 2016. Of those, 31 involved officers using their firearms.

When officers used their firearms, about 54 percent of the time they were facing a suspect armed with a gun. The suspect was reported as unarmed roughly 16 percent of the time.