INDIANAPOLIS — Two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officers were shot during a pursuit on the city's east side Thursday.
IMPD says both officers were transported to Eskenazi Hospital by fellow officers. Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
Both officers have been released from the hospital, according to an update from IMPD.
IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said the officers were attempting a traffic stop near the area of 30th Street and Post Road when two suspects fled from the scene.
When the suspects attempted to go off-road and their vehicle became lodged in a fence, the driver exited the vehicle and began shooting at officers with an "assault-type" rifle. Bailey was not able to identify the exact weapon used in the shooting and said that information would be released at a later time.
Four officers returned fire, according to Bailey. Two officers and the suspect were all struck during the exchange of gunfire.
The suspect, identified as 46-year-old Daniel Yefter Ghebrehiwet, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A passenger in the same vehicle attempted to flee the scene and was apprehended for questioning.
The passenger was arrested for an unrelated narcotics warrant out of Marion County for possession of methamphetamine, cocaine and a narcotic drug.
Breaking: Suspect who shot at police on the east side was killed in an exchange of gunfire with IMPD officers. Police say the weapon the suspect used heavily damaged a squad car. Chief Bailey says officers are lucky to be alive. Hear his impassioned message right here: pic.twitter.com/aSJnmCVT1H— Rafael Sánchez (@RafaelOnTV) April 20, 2023
"We are fed up," Bailey said during a press conference at the scene. "The community should be fed up with it. We have two officers who are lucky to be alive today, and they're doing exactly what we want them to do. Despite all the odds. Despite everything that is stacked up against them. Despite all of the criticism they take every single day. They put on their uniform and went out to get the people that are terrorizing our neighborhoods. We all owe them a debt of gratitude."
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor and Mayor Joe Hogsett also held a joint press conference outside Eskenazi Hospital where the officers were being treated.
Hogsett condemned the violent crimes the city is facing.
"We have seen time and time again crime targeting innocent residents and law enforcement agencies where the perpetrator is a convicted felon with no legal right to possess a firearm, and if the facts bear out today in a similar manner, I want those people to know we are coming for them," Hogsett said. "If you are a person who woke up this morning and made the choice to illegally supply these weapons to convicted felons in our community, we are coming for you too."
Chief Taylor thanked the staff at Eskenazi Hospital for their quick action to help the injured officers and spoke about how each time he gets a call.
"We want to give thanks to the men and women Eskenazi who sprang into action to provide for our officers who were brought here," Taylor said.
"When I get these calls, when I get that page that says I have an officer involved in a shooting, my heart sinks," Taylor said. "I don't know what's coming next. I don't know if we are going to have an officer who is severely injured or killed. This happens far too often to be quite honest."
According to Gary Woodruff, Chief of Lawrence Police, the investigation is ongoing, and police are limited to what they can disclose.
"On behalf of all of the men and women of the Lawrence Police Department we stand with our colleagues at IMPD," Woodruff said "Our thoughts and prayers remain with the two injured IMPD officers."
"I may not have the availability to shut off the faucet of guns that pour into Indianapolis, but I'll be damned if we aren't going to do everything we can to identify, arrest and punish those participating in this illicit marketplace of death," Hogsett said.
Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder released the following statement:
“Today we are reminded once again, what is put to risk each time the women and men of law enforcement put on their badge and step forward to stand the line on behalf of the communities they serve.
We are collectively grateful that both of these officers are expected to recover from non-life threatening injuries.
Yet that is only part of the story
Think of the courage it takes to boldly stand the line that separates good from evil at a time when:
Often, our politicians in charge are quick to blame the instruments used and leverage political agendas such as talking about “Gun” violence.
- On average an Officer is shot in the line of duty every 25 hours in our nation
- On average an Officers dies in the line of duty every 52 hours
- Approximately 165 Officers are assaulted daily
- On average an Officer is exposed to a life altering tragic Critical Incident every other month
Yet our residents and officers are left stuck in the middle of “human” violence often committed by repeat offenders with no value for the sanctity of life.
These are matters of the human heart and we must get back to basics in addressing it.
Therefore, we call on our community to pray for police and find ways to love your neighbor.
Solutions will come from neighbors loving neighbors, not from politicians trying to score political points.”