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IMPD officers shoot man they say charged at them with knife during disturbance

Man in critical condition after incident on east side
Posted at 5:53 AM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 04:36:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis police officers shot and critically wounded a 35-year-old man after he allegedly charged at them with a knife Monday morning at a home on the city's east side.

Just before 5 a.m., officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to a home in the first block of South Colorado Avenue on a report of a domestic disturbance that involved a man threatening a woman with a knife, IMPD public information officer William Young said.

As officers approached the scene, dispatchers told them "the level of violence was escalating" and they could hear the man tell the woman that he was going to kill her, Young said.

Officers heard the disturbance from outside the house when they arrived, and they were confronted by the man, Young said.

The man allegedly charged at police and two officers fired their weapons, striking him. Police did not say where the man was hit or how many times he was shot. Medics transported him to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition. His name has not been released.

At least three other people were inside the house at the time of the shooting.

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IMPD Chief Randal Taylor speaks after officers shot a man who is accused of charging at them with a knife during a domestic disturbance call on Monday, May 31, 2021.

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said he believes the officers involved in the shooting acted appropriately throughout the situation.

"This is, unfortunately, another case where you had a domestic intertwined in it, which is concerning because we've had a number of these lately," Taylor said. "But, once again, hopefully the community will understand the officers have a difficult job and they responded well."

Hours after the incident, IMPD said in a news release that one officer was hospitalized in good condition after they were struck in their ballistic vest by a shot fired from the other officer.

Multiple officers at the scene wore body cameras, which were turned on at the time of the shooting. Taylor said IMPD plans to release footage of the incident.

"There will be discussions with the prosecutor's office prior to those things happening, but that is the goal," Taylor said.

The IMPD Critical Response Team responded to the scene to conduct a criminal investigation, and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office is being consulted.

The IMPD Internal Affairs Unit will conduct a separate internal investigation, while the officers who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for when police fire their weapons, Young said.

The Use of Force Review Board will conduct a mandatory hearing and make an advisory finding related to the incident, which will be limited to determining whether the officers' actions were within departmental policy, according to IMPD.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana anonymously at 317-262-8477.

On Monday evening, IMPD released the following summary of events based on information gathered from the police dispatching system and initial investigation:

Editor's Note: WRTV removed the name of the suspect because formal charges haven't been filed yet by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, according to online court records. It's our policy not to name suspects until formal charges have been filed.

  • At approximately 4:54 a.m., IMPD Southeast District officers responded to 21 S. Colorado Avenue on a report of an active domestic disturbance with a knife involving a male and female.
  • At approximately 4:56 a.m., 911 operators continued an open line with the caller, and dispatchers updated officers that they could hear a female screaming on the line. Dispatch could also hear a female pleading for the male to stop and heard a male say he was going to kill the female. This information was shared with arriving officers.
  • Officers arrived at the residence at approximately 4:58 a.m. and made contact with the residents at the front door. Officers on scene indicated they heard a female screaming inside of the residence. Officers made announcements identifying themselves as police officers and ordered all persons inside the house to exit.
  • Shortly thereafter, officers entered the residence. As officers were inside the hallway an adult male, later identified as 35-year-old [first and last name removed by WRTV] emerged from a room and charged towards one officer with a knife in his hand. (Hallway Photo No. 1) (Knife Photo No. 2)
Photo 1.jpg
Photo 2.jpg

  • At approximately 5:02 a.m., officers on scene broadcasted on the radio that an officer involved shooting occurred. [Suspect's last name removed by WRTV] sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Due to the nature of the run IEMS & IFD were already on the scene and provided medical attention immediately. [Suspect's last name removed by WRTV] was transported to Eskenazi Hospital listed in critical condition. Officers did recover a knife in [suspect's last name removed by WRTV]’s possession.
  • It is believed two officers fired shots at the suspect.
  • During the incident, an officer sustained injuries related to a bullet strike to his ballistic vest as a result of crossfire from another IMPD officer. The officer who was struck was transported to a local hospital and has been released. [Suspect's last name removed by WRTV] was placed under arrest for attempted murder (2 counts), domestic battery w/a deadly weapon, and battery w/ a deadly weapon. [Suspect's last name removed by WRTV] is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will make the final charging decision.
  • Multiple officers had body-worn cameras which were activated at the time of the incident.
  • There were multiple people inside the house at the time of the incident aside from [Suspect's last name removed by WRTV] and the officers. No other people were injured during the incident.
  • IMPD’s Victim’s Assistance Unit & Chaplain’s Office responded to the scene to provide resources for victims and their families.
  • The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team responded to the scene to conduct the criminal investigation. The Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency is assisting with this investigation.
  • The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office responded to the scene and is being consulted throughout the investigation.
  • The Police Officer Support Team (POST) responded to provide peer support for officers.

WRTV photographer Jonathon Christians contributed to this report.