Indianapolis News and Headlines


IMPD officer's house shot 5 times, man in custody

Posted at 9:15 AM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 17:25:45-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was taken into custody on suspicion of shooting at an IMPD officer's house and his patrol car on the near east side around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The officer was at home and awake, his wife and 10-year-old son were asleep at the time.  No one was hurt.

Investigators found 17 shell casings at the scene. There were three bullet holes in the police car and five in the house.

The suspect, 27-year-old March Ratney, has had nearly a dozen run-ins with the law over the past decade. Click the image below to see more:

"We can't tolerate this. This officer represents this city. And our city was attacked and his family was attacked as a result," said IMPD Chief Troy Riggs during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses told officers they saw a black man driving a tan, mid-2000s Chevy Cobalt and who had parked the car a few houses east of the house. They said they saw the suspect get out of the car, yell "F--- the police," and shoot at the house and police car.

One witness also said they saw somebody matching the suspect's description walking around the officer's house last Friday. They said the person was wearing a white T-shirt with "Black Lives Matter" on it.

The arrest report states that when police looked at surveillance video, there were no other vehicles seen between 1:30 a.m. and 2:28 a.m. 

As they were searching through the area, an officer saw a tan Chevy Cobalt a few blocks from the house.

The report says when the driver noticed the police car, he did a three-point turn and sped away. Officers chased him, and he was apprehended.

The suspect, March Ratney, 27, was identified at the scene by witnesses. He was wearing a black shirt with the words "f--- the police" on the front, and "black lives matter" on the back. Police weren't able to provide any information about Ratney's involvement with the movement, if any.

"Because this individual's wearing a t-shirt doesn't mean that he represents everyone that's associated with that organization," said Chief Troy Riggs.

The organizers of last Saturday's Black Lives Matter rally in Indianapolis released this statement:

"The coalition of young people that put together the march on Saturday does not condone the actions of March Ratney. We believe that peace is the only way that our voices will be heard in a way we can initiate change in our city. We will not let the negative actions of one person overshadow the positive work that young people in this city are doing! Just because one person has "black lives matter" on a shirt does not mean that everyone affiliated with this movement has violent intentions. We will continue to stand firm on our message of peace and we hope the example we have set becomes contagious throughout the city and country!"  

During questioning after Tuesday's incident, Ratney denied both owning a gun and being involved in the shooting. He said he was in the neighborhood because he and his mother live in the area. He also used an expletive at police and urinated in the interview room.

Police served four search warrants since the shooting Tuesday morning. 

Ratney is currently facing a charge of criminal recklessness with weapon or causing serious bodily injury in relation to Tuesday's incident.

The officer whose house was shot at arrested Ratney in 2008, police said. Chief Riggs said they do not know at this time if that was the motive for Tuesday's shooting.

Court documents show Ratney was found guilty in 2011 in Marion County for resisting law enforcement and firearm possession as a serious violent felon.

Ratney served five years of a 12-year sentence from February 2011 to February 2016, according to the Indiana Department of Correction’s records.

He has been on parole since then, which is the state’s version of probation. Court records show Ratney was charged in 2007 with auto theft and resisting law enforcement, but the charges were dismissed.

He was convicted in 2008 of disorderly conduct and served a few days in jail, records show.

Ratney was also arrested a separate time in 2008 for carrying a handgun without a license, but the charge was dismissed.

In 2009 he was found guilty in Marion County of battery and carrying a handgun without a license.

He served several months in the Indiana Department of Correction in 2009 and 2010 for the battery and handgun convictions.

ALSO READ | Outpouring of support for police after Dallas shootings

This shooting comes on the heels of a chaotic week across the country. Five Dallas police officers were killed in an ambush during a Black Lives Matter rally Thursday night. The rally was in response to separate incidents in which black men were killed at the hand of police officers in Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn. 

PREVIOUS | Were the Dallas attacks coordinated or inspired by hate groups?

On Monday, we held community conversations with law enforcement personnel and community leaders about policing and race.

RTV6 is withholding the officer's name and specific address due to safety concerns.


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