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Family claims IMPD “overkill” in shooting of CVS robber

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 21, 2013)– When Devin Johnson, 32, entered an eastside pharmacy early in the morning of November 9th, he was a felon with a handgun just a couple months out of prison and already questioned about another drug store robbery a week earlier.

Johnson’s family will bury the newlywed father of a 13-year-old girl Friday.

“I know he was doing wrong but overkill is overkill,” said Robert Killebrew, acknowledging his son’s attempted robbery of the CVS store at 8935 East 21st Street. “He’s already down and then three police walk in and unload their clips because they say he raised his gun at them. He’s already down. He’s already hurt. He’s already wounded.”

“A suspect who has received a fatal wound can still be a threat to the officers,” said Lt. Dale True, IMPD’s firearms instructor.

IMPD’s report shows that at approximately 3:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday, Johnson and another man entered the CVS pharmacy. As his partner stole drugs, Johnson robbed customers and the cash register in the front of the store. Then officers responded and shot at him through the front glass doors when he refused to lower his weapon.

Officers said Johnson then retreated up an aisle, refused to surrender, raised his gun again and he was shot again.

“Well, he raised the gun, he didn’t shoot it,” said Chamika Johnson, the dead man’s wife of a month. “They could’ve tazed him, shot him one time in his arm to get the gun to drop.

“I mean, he was wrong and they also was in the wrong.”

The shooting will be reviewed by IMPD and a Marion County Grand Jury. IMPD reports that witness accounts and surveillance videos support the officers’ version of the shooting.

“Part of the decision is in the suspect’s hand,” said Lt. True. “The suspect has to cooperate with the police and their commands to surrender.

“All that has to flash through an officer’s mind in a half-second.”

Lt. True said IMPD’s training and General Orders comply with U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

“We’re not required to do the least amount of force. We’re required to make sure that the amount of force we use is reasonable.

“What we’re looking for is the correct response and that is a very difficult thing.”

Johnson’s family is awaiting a Marion County Coroner’s report to determine the wounds the hold up man received.

“You don’t have to shoot a person that many times to bring him down,” said Killebrew. “Even if they got a gun in their hand. They’re trained to bring a person down. This is excessive.

“I know he was doing wrong, but still, it was overkill.”

More than 40 CVS pharmacies have been robbed in the metro area this year.