Indianapolis News and Headlines


IMPD: Man would not drop knife, charged officer

Posted at 11:32 AM, Dec 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-13 11:32:40-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Family members say the man killed in an officer-involved shooting Saturday had a mental illness, and they are questioning if deadly force was necessary. 

Christopher Goodlow, of Indianapolis, was shot by police on the city's northeast side Saturday. 

The shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. in the 7900 block of Red Mill Drive. No officers were injured. 

According to a press release from IMPD, officers were called to the area of 7900 Red Mill Drive on a report of a suicidal person. The caller said the man was standing near the entrance of an apartment building with a large knife in his hand and appeared to cut himself.

When officers arrived, they found a man with the description with the knife still in his hand. The officers told Goodlow to drop the knife, but he did not. Officers then used tasers, hitting Goodlow twice, but the taser appeared to have no effect on him. An additional officer tried to tackle Goodlow to the ground, but was unable to secure the hand that held the knife, according to IMPD.

Goodlow continued to confront the officers with an extended arm pointing the knife at them, police said. He then charged at one of the officers, with his arm still fully extended and pointed the knife at the officer, according to the release.

Two of the police officers then shot at him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"No officer wants to take a life, and a number of things goes through their heads when they go through a situation like this and I think the officers did the best they could," Lt. Richard Riddle said. 

IMPD Homicide detectives with the Critical Incident Response Team responded to the scene and conducted a criminal investigation.

The officers involved include a 14-year veteran officer and an 11-year veteran officer. Both officers are assigned to the East District. They have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting investigation. 

According to family members, Goodlow suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. They question whether he was off his medication Saturday morning. And they also question if deadly force was the only option. 

"Why couldn't they just shoot him in the ankle? He was scared and whatever was going on in his mind, he didn't know what to do," Denise Wilburn said. 

"It's a sad situation. Everybody loses in this situation. You have officers who were involved and had to use deadly force and you also had the victim's family in this, and they have to go through loss of a loved one at the hands of police," Riddle said. 

Goodlow's family said he was the father of two. 

"When he was feeling okay, he was nice and mild mannered. He was a good father. He was a good son. He loved all his family and we loved him," Wilburn said. 

Steven Chambers, a man who lives in the apartment complex where the shooting occurred, captured the shooting on his cell phone. The video is in the video player above.

This is the ninth fatal police-action shooting in Indianapolis this year and the second this week. 

Thursday, a 34-year-old man was shot and killed when he allegedly pointed a handgun at police inside his home. 

The shooting happened in the 2100 block of Conrad Avenue shortly before 5:30 a.m.

According to IMPD, around 1:43 a.m., officers attempted to stop a vehicle near the intersection of South Belmont Avenue and Conrad Avenue for a license plate violation.

The man did not stop and eventually got out of his vehicle and ran.

PREVIOUS | IMPD: Killed suspect pointed handgun at officers

After looking at the truck, officers learned it had been stolen from New Whiteland, Indiana, on Nov. 23.

Officers believed the man ran into a home in the 2100 block of Conrad Avenue. Officers were granted a search warrant and went into the home shortly before 5:30 a.m.

When they entered the home, two officers encountered 34-year-old Jason Bryant, of Indianapolis, armed with a gun in a back bedroom. Both officers shot the suspect. Bryant was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition. He later died of his injuries.

A search warrant executed at Bryant's house turned up a .38-caliber handgun, which police say he pointed at officers just prior to being shot.


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