By ZACH MYERS
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An 18-year-old man who was shot by Indianapolis police early Tuesday morning has had multiple run-ins with the law, FOX59 has learned.
Javon Wilkins was last reported in critical condition at Eskenazi Hospital after he was shot by an IMPD SWAT officer near the intersection of Pruitt and Harding streets. SWAT officers were already closely watching the area after two consecutive days of gunfire nearby.
Around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said three SWAT officers in an unmarked car witnessed Wilkins fire a handgun at somebody in a red car. That's when the officers got out of their car and approached Wilkins, said police.
"They announced themselves, and then the suspect turned around with the gun in hand, raised the gun up, and the officers fired," said IMPD Lt. Chris Bailey.
Only one officer actually fired at Wilkins, who was critically wounded.
Police records indicate Wilkins has been arrested multiple times over the years as a juvenile. His first arrest came when he was 9 years old as part of a burglary investigation. Later arrests involved drugs, theft and counterfeit money.
Police records also indicate Wilkins and his mother may have been witnesses to the drive-by shooting of a 16 year old in the area of Kessler Boulevard and Roberta Drive in late May.
It's not clear if the Tuesday morning gunfire may be related to the May 29 shooting. Bailey said detectives were looking into possible connections between any prior incidents.
The dangerous encounter Tuesday came just over a week after Officer Perry Renn was killed by gunfire that pierced his protective vest.
FOX59 has learned that two of the SWAT officers who confronted Wilkins had been shot roughly four months earlier.
They were two of the four SWAT officers who were shot March 5 while they were serving a search warrant at a southeast side home in the 1600 block of State Avenue. Andrew Sizemore, 27, was killed in the incident. The officers were serving a high-risk narcotics warrant at the time.
"And then they're back out there getting out of their cars," Bailey said. "Into areas where we know we have issues, especially issues like shots fired and are willing to put themselves on the line for this community. It says something about the character of this police department."