Suspect in shooting of IMPD officer pleads not guilty

Christopher Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The man accused of shooting an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer in December made his first court appearance Wednesday.

Police also released a photo of the suspect, 39-year-old Christopher Johnson, for the first time since the shooting.

On Dec. 13, police say Johnson fired multiple shots at officers as they served a narcotics search warrant at a home in the 2100 block of Spann Avenue, located 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. Police said five SWAT officers returned fire, hitting Johnson multiple times. He was rushed to the hospital and survived.

Sibley was said to be recovering well after the incident. He had some numbness and lack of movement in the two smallest fingers on one of his hands, however.

Johnson faces federal charges of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, discharging a firearm during and related to a crime of violence and felon in possession of a firearm. He faces additional charges in Marion County, including five counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Two adults and two teenagers in the home are charged with visiting a common nuisance. Investigators said once the home was secured, they found firearms, large amounts of suspected narcotics and money.

In court Wednesday, Johnson was informed of the charges against him and he pleaded not guilty. Previous court hearing had been delayed to due him still being in the hospital.

He faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted.