INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A gunman accused of shooting an IMPD officer was already known to law enforcement, according to investigators. Police said he was the target of a narcotics investigation and already under supervised release linked to federal drug charges.
Wednesday afternoon, police said Christopher Johnson, 39, fired multiple rounds at officers while they served a narcotics search warrant at a home in the 2100 block of Spann Ave. on the near east side.
Police said Officer Arthur Sibley, an 11-year veteran of the force who has served multiple years with SWAT, was hit in the arm. He is expected to be okay. Police said five SWAT officers returned fire, hitting Johnson multiple times. Johnson was taken to the hospital in critical condition. At last check, he remained hospitalized.
"If you're shooting at us then we will do what we are trained to do, we will neutralize that threat. After that's done, you saw it in action in motion for us, they immediately rendered first aid to Mr. Johnson and that is the reason why we believe he may be alive today," Sgt. Christopher Wilburn said.
Police said Johnson was the target of a narcotics investigation. Prior to serving the warrant, investigators said detectives received information the he was likely to be armed and violent, which is when the help of IMPD's SWAT team was requested.
"He was the target of our investigation, he was the target of the SWAT operator's investigation," Sgt. Wilburn said.
It's not the first time law enforcement has dealt with him, though. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Johnson was sentenced in 2003 in the Western District of Kentucky on cocaine, marijuana and gun charges. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and five years under supervised release. In 2015, his supervised release was transferred to Indianapolis.
Now, police said Johnson is facing charges of attempted murder, serious violent felon in possession of a firearm and dealing and possession of narcotics. Police said four others in the home, including two adults and two teenagers, are charged with visiting a common nuisance.
Investigators said once the home was secured, they found firearms, large amounts of suspected narcotics and money.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). Tips given to Crime Stoppers are considered anonymous.