INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man died Thursday morning after being shot by police.
The deadly officer involved shooting took place around 2:00 a.m. Thursday on the city’s near northwest side.
Police say it started with a routine traffic stop. The driver led police on a high speed chase before crashing near the intersection of 23rd and Aqueduct.
At some point following that crash, two police officers shot and killed the driver identified as 45-year-old Aaron Bailey.
The police chief with IMPD did not come out and openly defend his officers, nor did he say they were in the wrong.
In fact, the chief says he doesn’t have the answers yet to know whether or not the shooting was justified.
“This is something every city, police chief and mayor hopes never happens, but it has happened here in Indianapolis,” said IMPD Police Chief Bryan Roach.
Chief Roach admits no weapon was found inside Bailey’s car. Roach says the department’s policy is clear on when officers have the right to use deadly force, but he can’t say if that applied in this case.
“All I know is that at some point to be within policy, the officers had to be in fear for their life. So there had to be something that was done in to trigger that mindset in our officers,” said Roach.
“You got two sides of the story. The guy didn’t have a gun,” said Robert Polk.
Polk owns much of the property around where the shooting happened. While he has concerns, he wouldn’t criticize police just yet for how they responded.
“If someone is running from the police, how do they know what the driver does or doesn’t have?” said Polk.
A 26-year-old female passenger, Shiwanda Ward, was taken into custody on drug related charges. She was not hurt in the shooting.
Chief Roach promised to be open and transparent with their investigation.
“This is an opportunity to increase the trust the community has for us. Everybody is watching,” said Roach.
The two officers involved in the shooting were not hurt. The chief thinks the officers will have to go before grand jury to see if charges will be filed.
In the meantime, they remain on routine leave while the case is investigated.
Mayor Joe Hogsett also offered this written statement.
“The loss of any life in our city is a tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with all individuals and families affected by last night’s incident. Our residents expect that IMPD will stringently follow protocol by fully investigating and reviewing the actions that were taken. We will continue to engage local faith and community leaders to reiterate a commitment to handling this process with openness, transparency, and compassion.”