Story Summary

IMPD officer wounded, passenger killed during traffic stop

office shotA man was killed and an IMPD officer wounded during a traffic stop on the night of Tuesday, April 2. The officer was conducting the stop at East 36th Street and Sherman Drive when he tried to remove the man from the vehicle. The man then pulled out a gun resulting in a struggle over the firearm, according to police.

The officer was hit in the arm and suffered non-life threatening injuries. The man was killed and two other people in the car suffered gunshot wounds to their legs.

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Update (3:16 p.m.): IMPD says Officer Zotz has been released from the hospital.

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer shot earlier this week is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday and is recuperating nicely, according to IMPD.

Officer Bryan Zotz was shot in the arm during a Tuesday night traffic stop that ended in the death of 24-year-old William Morris. According to police, Zotz had pulled over the SUV Morris was riding in. When the driver said he didn’t have a license, police ordered everyone out of the vehicle.

Officers said Morris, who was in the backseat, reached between his feet for a gun. A struggle between Zotz and Morris ensued. Zotz was shot in arm; Morris died after Zotz and another officer opened fire.

During a news conference Wednesday, IMPD said officers gave Morris repeated verbal commands to put the weapon down. Two other passengers in the SUV were wounded in the exchange.

Zotz was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in good condition.


Officer recovering, suspect killed had long criminal past

INDIANAPOLIS – A man killed in an exchange of gunfire with police had a long criminal past, according to police records on file. The officer injured during the Tuesday night incident is continuing to recover.

According to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report, Officer Bryan Zotz was assisting in a traffic stop around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 3600 block of North Sherman Drive. A Chevrolet Blazer had disregarded a stop sign, police said.

The driver told officers he didn’t have a valid license, and police tried to get everyone out of the SUV. The driver and another person in the front seat got out. Officers then started to move the backseat passengers out.

Officers said one of those passengers–identified as 24-year old William E. Morris–pulled a gun during the traffic stop. According to IMPD, Zotz and another officer saw Morris reach between his feet for a handgun. Despite several verbal commands to stop, Morris continued to bring the gun up.

That led to a struggle between Zotz and Morris over control of the gun. Zotz and the other officer opened fire; Zotz, a 12-year veteran, was shot in the lower arm by Morris and transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in good condition.

Morris was killed by gunfire.

Two other people in the vehicle, identified in the report as 20-year old Jamie Brown and 36-year Famous Thompson, were also hit. Their injuries were described as non-life threatening. The other passengers were not injured.

Two other officers on the scene did not fire their weapons.

A check of police records indicates a long criminal history for Morris, starting with a shoplifting arrest at age 11 and continuing from there. Multiple arrests involved drugs, guns, carjacking and rape. He was on parole at the time of the incident, police said.

Thompson also has multiple prior arrests that include drugs and domestic disturbances.

The car involved is also familiar to police. A passenger who was not injured by gunfire was arrested in the same car in January for driving it with a suspended license.

William Morris MUG

William Morris

INDIANAPOLIS — An IMPD officer is in stable condition after being shot during a gun battle.

According to a Metro Police spokesperson, an officer was conducting a traffic stop at East 36th Street and Sherman Drive around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday. An IMPD police report identified the officer as Bryan Zotz.

According to the report, the officer tried to remove the driver from the vehicle due to a suspended license. The driver then pulled out a gun resulting in a struggle over the firearm.

Shots were then fired, fatally wounding the driver and injuring Zotz in the lower arm and wrist.

Four other people were in the car. Two of the four were wounded with non-life threatening injuries to the leg. They were transported to Wishard Hospital.

The one remaining occupant of the vehicle was not injured and is being detained by police for questioning.

The identity of the suspect fatally wounded by officers is not being released until family members can be notified.

More information about the shooting will be released Wednesday by Metro Police.

This is an active investigation and detectives urge anyone with information reference this incident to call the IMPD at 317.327.3475 or CRIME STOPPERS at 317.262.TIPS (8477).

Callers can also text “INDYCS” plus tip information to 274627(CRIMES).