INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 29, 2014) – An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer shot an armed suspect on the east side Tuesday morning.
The male suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Manuel Staples, made a threatening move with his semi-automatic rifle, which forced the officer to discharge his weapon around 3 a.m., IMPD said.
IMPD has not yet released how many times or where the suspect was hit, saying only that he was awake and breathing when taken to a local hospital in serious condition.
A female suspect, 23-year-old Monique Buckley, was detained a short time later in what IMPD believed to be a getaway car.
Both suspects have been arrested on a preliminary charge of robbery.
Police told FOX59 News that officers on regular patrol near the intersection of 21st Street and Shadeland noticed a car acting suspiciously near the Circle K, making several passes in and around the parking lot.
“As those officers were approaching that situation, I can tell you with certainty they did not think that they were going to be involved in this type of incident,” said Officer Christopher Wilburn. “I’m glad that they’re alive.”
Next thing they knew, the two officers observed Staples dart out of the vehicle armed with a semi-automatic rifle and headed toward employees standing outside the convenience store, IMPD said.
That’s when the officers approached, ordered the suspect to lower his weapon and opened fire when he refused.
WATCH IMPD REMOVE THE WEAPON DURING FOX59’S LIVE REPORT:
Officer Wilburn applauded the officers’ vigilance and professionalism in recognizing and defusing a situation that could have been more tragic.
“We’re not abandoning any part of this city. We do what we’re supposed to do. We do what we’re trained to do,” Wilburn said, while also pointing out that officers and their families also live and spend their days in the city. “We’re not going to give up a ZIP code, a people group. This is not what we do.
“If you think that you’re going to come to this city and you’re going to behave in this manor, we will win and that’s the bottom line. That’s what criminals need to understand.”