INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Police arrested a man after witnesses claim he made threats at people gathered at a popular hangout among the city’s LGBT community.
Police described the suspect as “mentally ill” and said he was released from the hospital just hours before the incident, which happened around midnight at Olly’s located at 822 N. Illinois St.
A man who was inside the establishment celebrating his birthday at the time described the suspect as disturbed, agitated and fidgety.
"(he) started talking about the Orlando shooting and how it was real, and then started talking about being in a hostage situation," Adam Goble said.
Goble said the suspect referenced the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in which 49 people were killed. He also mentioned a hostage situation, the witness told police. Olly’s prides itself as a safe space for the LGBT community.
In addition to the threats, police said the man demanded that workers give him money from the cash register.
Many of the people inside Olly’s didn’t immediately realize what happened.
“And before I could process it, IMPD was in here, and had him, and they were out. It was incredibly fast how it went,” said Goble, who was there celebrating his birthday. “It was only after the fact that we were able to actually stop and process what just happened here.”
IMPD said the 27-year-old suspect was unarmed and no one was hurt.
"Being a member of the LGBTQ community can be a very scary thing. And tonight there was a moment where many of us in the bar felt unsafe," Goble said. "And the city of Indianapolis showed that our safety is a priority, and it was a very…it gave me a lot of hope for what our future in this city looks like."
Olly's owner said the establishment is a safe space for many in the gay community and a place where anyone is welcome. He hopes the incident doesn't change that sense of security.