Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local NewsIndianapolis Crime News


IMPD: January gunfight involving officer started with dispute over vehicle sale

Posted at 10:04 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 00:00:53-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Metro police on Tuesday said a January incident where an officer fired shots during a gunfight between two men began with a disturbance between four people over the sale of a vehicle.

It happened around 1 p.m. Jan. 28 when two men got out of their cars and began shooting at each other in the area of 30th Street and Shadeland Avenue, police said. Officer Michael Sojka, a six-year veteran of the department, was not in a police uniform and was in an unmarked car returned fire.

READ MORE | IMPD officer fires shots during gunfight between two men at northeast side intersection | Chief identifies IMPD officer who fired shots during gunfight between two men

According to a report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, a 71-year-old man and his 44-year-old son were attempting to purchase the vehicle from an online listing. The men met the sellers of the vehicle — Darijus Jackson, 18, and Markeese Madison, 19, — in a Lowe's parking lot and later at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch on East 42nd Street.

In a video briefing posted to YouTube, metro police said the men negotiated a price for the vehicle in the Lowe's parking lot and then drove to a Chase bank on Shadeland Avenue. Police said all four men then met at the Lawrence BMV branch.

Police said Jackson entered the branch along with the victim who wanted to purchase the vehicle. The man's son called off the purchase after they failed to get a proper title for the vehicle. The victims told police that outside the BMV Jackson displayed a rifle and Madison displayed a handgun. Police said the father also displayed a handgun before he and his son drove away. Police said Jackson and Madison, in two separate trucks, pursued the victims.

In the video briefing, officers said the two men chased the victims down 38th Street to Shadeland Avenue and shots were fired at 30th Street and Shadeland Avenue after the victims were stopped by traffic.

Police said Officer Sojka witnessed Madison exit his truck with a rifle and fire multiple rounds at another individual. Sojka then fired his weapon at Madison, who was still armed with the rifle, police said.

Officers said video from a nearby gas station shows Jackson drive over the center divide, exit his vehicle and walk backward toward the other vehicles while extending his arm out. Multiple fired handgun casings were later found in that location, police said. The video also shows Madison get out of his truck after it was backed into by the victim's vehicle.

Police said multiple fired rifle casings were recovered on Shadeland Avenue and additional fired casings were recovered from Madison's truck.

According to police, the son, who was the passenger in the victim's truck, was wounded by gunfire as they make a u-turn and head north on Shadeland Avenue. A short time later officers were notified of a person shot on East 34th Street and that was the 44-year-old son who was taken to an area hospital in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

Police were called around 1:13 p.m. Jan. 28 to Community East Hospital for a walk-in person shot. Video shows Jackson and an injured Madison arrive at the hospital. After the two men walk into the hospital, the video shows Jackson, in plain view of hospital police and security officers, exit the hospital, go back to the truck, grab a jacket and place it into a garbage can at the emergency room entrance. An officer later retrieved the jacket and a rifle fell onto the pavement and a handgun was located in the trash can, police said.

Prosecutors have filed charges in Marion Superior Court against both of the other men involved in the incident, according to court records.

Markeese Madison, 19, and Darius Jackson, 18, both face charges of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon.

IMPD's Critical Incident Response Team continues to investigate the incident. A separate and independent investigation is being conducted by IMPD's Internal Affairs Unit to ensure compliance with departmental policy.