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Traffic stop leads to IMPD officers shooting, killing wanted man on Indy’s near east side

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-01 18:30:53-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A man has died after being shot by IMPD officers during a traffic stop on the near east side of Indianapolis on Thursday.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department East District officers were attempting to locate 48-year-old Raphael Nafees Dekemper just before 5:30 p.m. in the area of North Temple Avenue and Brookside Parkway.

IMPD says Dekemper was wanted for the following:

  • Possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon
  • Criminal recklessness
  • Pointing a firearm
  • Invasion of privacy

The warrant was issued as a result of an incident earlier in the month where Dekemper allegedly fired shots at individuals at a residence near 16th Street and Arlington Avenue.

On Thursday, officers observed Dekemper get into a vehicle on the passenger's side. Officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop using fully marked police vehicles.

According to IMPD, a high-risk stop is when officers use distance, do not approach the vehicle and order the suspects out of the vehicle using a PA system.

Officers verbally ordered Dekemper to get out of the vehicle, and police say within seconds he exited with a handgun.

According to a preliminary investigation, Dekemper fired at officers first. Three officers returned fire, striking the suspect.

Dekemper was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

The adult female driver of the vehicle complied with officers and was taken into police custody without incident.

Police say they located a firearm next to Dekemper.

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One police car was struck with multiple bullets, according to IMPD.

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No officers or uninvolved citizens were injured in this incident.

IMPD identified the officers involved as nine-year veteran Officers Michael Sojka, Nickolas Smith, and eight-year veteran Officer Andrew Hibschman.

The officers involved were equipped with body-worn cameras during this incident.

The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team responded to the scene to conduct the criminal investigation. IMPD Internal Affairs is conducting a separate administrative investigation.