IMPD officer shoots man after traffic stop, struggle over weapon on east side

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An investigation is underway after an IMPD officer shot a man on the city's east side.

The incident started as a traffic stop in the 9900 block of East 16th Street, near Mitthoeffer Road, around 12:30 p.m. About six minutes after the traffic stop, a shot was fired and additional officers were called to the scene.

Stopping a gray Chevy, three IMPD officers say they began to argue with the car’s passenger, before one officer opened fire.

Several neighbors overheard the violent traffic stop.

“I started to hear commotion like yelling back and forth and then next thing I heard three to five shots,” said neighbor Rhett Casteel.

“There was yelling we could hear. It was obvious the guy was irate,” said neighbor Melinda Arthur.

Investigators with IMPD say the car’s driver wasn’t hurt, but police claim the passenger had a weapon on him and began to wrestle with officers over that gun before any shots were fired.

“During that struggle a less-lethal weapon was deployed but was ineffective,” said IMPD deputy chief Chris Bailey. “There was continued struggle over the weapon, at which time one of the officers discharged his firearm.”

No officers were hurt during the shooting, but the man was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Neighbors say they don’t fault police for what happened because even a simple traffic stop can turn dangerous.

“At a traffic stop you should always comply with officers because you don’t want to get hurt or have them get accidentally get hurt,” said Arthur.

“Routine is a word we don’t like to use because we’ve learned that there’s nothing routine about the job police do each and every day,” said Bailey.

So far police have not released the man’s name.

The officers involved have been placed on routine leave while the case is investigated.

IMPD does not believe the man fired any shots, but a weapon reportedly belonging to the man was found.

The driver of the car was detained and will be interviewed by detectives.