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'A dark object and a flash of light': Officer Thomas Mangan recounts the night he was shot in the neck

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Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 17:29:04-05

INDIANAPOLIS — In a haltingly slow, raspy voice, metropolitan police Officer Thomas Mangan told a Marion County jury about the bullet that tore through his neck.

The round hit “in my voice box. The vocal cords."

Mangan is the star witness in the trial of Mylik Hill, the man prosecutors say pulled the trigger and fired that bullet on Feb. 27, 2022.

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IMPD Officer Thomas Mangan

Mangan was chasing Hill in the Fountain Square area when he closed the gap and tried to "go for a high tackle," he testified.

Mangan testified he remembers "a turn of (Hill's) shoulders and a dark object and then a flash of light."

The next thing he recalls is "waking up at Eskenazi Hospital," Mangan testified.

Jurors were seated a few feet away from the witness stand, close enough to see a red scar near Mangan's Adam's apple.

The bullet destroyed Mangan's vocal chords and damaged nerves before exiting through his back shoulder, Mangan told the jury.

The nerve damage affected his eyesight and he now wears sunglasses indoors. He testified he is coping with cognitive problems and has trouble understanding questions and forming thoughts.

Mangan faced the suspect in court on Wednesday. Hill is acting as his own attorney, defending himself in court on attempted murder and other charges.

The suspect was seated at the defense table as he questioned the police officer he is accused of trying to murder.

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Mylik Hill cross examines IMPD Officer Daniel Majors in Marion Superior Court on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Hill is a ting as his own attorney to defend himself on attempted murder and other charges in the 2022 shooting that wounded Officer Thomas Mangan.

"Officer Thomas Mangan, is it your testimony today that you seen I, the defendant, shoot you in the neck?" Hill asked during cross examination.

Mangan: Could you repeat the question?
Hill: Did you see the defendant with a handgun?
Mangan: What I believed to be a handgun at that time.
Hill: At what time are you speaking of?
Mangan: Before the flash.

Prosecutors say Hill shot Mangan in the neck just as the officer was about to catch him.

IMPD Officer Daniel Majors returned fire, striking Hill multiple times. Police captured Hill in the 900 block of Dawson Street.

Hill's trial began Tuesday. Prosecutors charged him with attempted murder, resisting law enforcement and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Marion Superior Court Judge Angela Davis has admonished Hill repeatedly for his failure to follow rules governing evidence, questioning of witnesses and other matters.

Before the trial began, Davis overturned a previous ruling in which she appointed lawyers to represent Hill in spite of his objections.

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Superior Court Judge Angela Davis and IMPD Officer Thomas Mangan.

The judge has appointed public defenders to sit on standby, in case the defendant changes his mind.

The trial is expected to conclude on Thursday.

READ | Officer Mangan released from hospital | Attempted murder trial begins for man accused of shooting officer in neck | Man accused of shooting officer gets attorney despite his objection

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on X/Twitter: @vicryc.