Witness, family friend describe events leading up to officer’s killing

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INDIANAPOLIS – A woman who knows the man accused of fatally shooting IMPD Officer Perry Renn over the weekend says he had become angry and bitter toward police.

April Spells owns the grey and yellow house at the corner of 34th St. and Forest Manor Avenue. She says the deadly violence Saturday night started with a family barbecue behind her home that deteriorated into an argument. Spells says Major Davis II was at the party and was involved in a heated conversation.

According to witness Regina Shaw, who lives three doors down, Davis pulled a long gun out of a white van.

“They were arguing,” Shaw said. “They asked him to put the gun down. And he didn’t put the gun down, so I guess someone called 911, police came.”

A white Chevy van was impounded at the scene following the shooting, according to a police report. Shaw says Davis was the only one she saw with a weapon at the gathering.

When police arrived Shaw says Davis refused police orders to drop the weapon.

“The policeman said ‘put the gun down,'” Shaw continued. “He said it loud enough, you could hear him. ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down!’ No, no, no, he did not do it. He started shooting.”

Officer Perry Renn died after an exchange of gunfire with Davis. Davis was also critically wounded.

Spells says she does not know what the initial argument was about. But she does believe Davis had reached a dark point in his life and had built up anger toward police.

Spells says she last spoke to Davis on Thursday. At that time, she says he told her he had recently gotten a job but had lost it after being pulled over by police. She says Davis felt like he had been targeted by police over the years after several run-ins with the law. She also said Davis told her he felt police officers held his family history against him. Davis was in his teens when his father lost his life during a confrontation with police officers.

“I just feel like he just snapped,” Spells said. “Because he was so angry.”

However, Spells says none of Davis’ anger justifies the killing of a police officer.

In fact, she says she knew and respected Officer Renn after meeting him on several occasions.

“He was a great man, a family man,” Spells told FOX59. “And he was here to do what he was supposed to do, and that was to serve and protect our streets of Indianapolis.”

Spells spent more than a decade running a beauty salon out of her house at the corner of 34th and Forest Manor Avenue. She says Officer Renn went above and beyond to make her and her neighbors feel safe.

On several occasions, Spells says officer Renn would wait in his police car to make sure she made it safely to her own car after closing her beauty shop late at night.

“He felt like this was his neighborhood,” she said. “This was his job and not only a job, I felt like he reached over and beyond the call of duty.”