Neighbors react to Indy’s deadly officer-involved shooting
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Police have released the name of the man who was shot and killed by officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Police have identified the victim as 45-year-old Deshon Downing. The three officers involved are on administrative leave.
Neighbors on the northeast side are calling this a tragedy while recounting the moments gunshots rang out just feet away from their doorsteps.
“I was asleep, and my wife woke me up and said something going on down the street. I see a bunch of red lights,” said neighbor Booker Campbell.
Kim Maxwell lives directly across the street with her children and grandchildren. She said she had just come in from Walmart. Her oldest granddaughter, Zion, was outside sitting on the porch talking to her friend on the phone.
“All of a sudden, I just started hearing shots, shots, shots. And I dropped everything, ran and was screaming Zion, Zion get in here,” said Maxwell.
JaiJanee Thompson says she and her little cousins were outside moments before the shooting. She was just talking about Lawrence Police being featured on Live PD.
“I seen like four or five police officers going up to the car with they guns out. It was really traumatizing because I’ve never seen that happen face-to-face, and for a police officer to be the one for me to witness that, it just doesn’t sit right with me,” Thompson said.
According to IMPD, officers with the East District Flex Team were on surveillance near 42nd and Brentwood Court. Around 8:15 p.m. Friday, they say they pulled over a van near 42nd and Richelieu Road, and during the traffic stop, a passenger showed a gun.
“Just because you carry a pistol or a gun, whatever the case might be, that doesn’t give anybody the case to shoot at anybody,” said Adriana Escobar.
Police say they fired shots, shooting and killing Downing, who was a passenger in the vehicle.
“All I’m saying is that the force police officers used, that shouldn’t have happened,” said Escobar.
Escobar claims to be the sister of Downing. She says her brother wasn’t perfect, but he did not deserve to die.
“All I’m saying is my brother shouldn’t be dead right now,” said Escobar.
Police say the three officers involved have a combined 20 years of experience and are on administrative leave as the investigation moves forward. But those in the northeast side neighborhood are still left shaken.
“Closest I’ve ever been to a police shooting,” said Campbell.
Some are questioning whether or not deadly force was necessary. At the scene, police justified their decision.
“Officers use force only if the force against them is of a deadly consequence, so in this particular instance, officers used deadly force on the individual that the force was potentially going to be deadly against them or a third person,” said Major Kendale Adams.
Police say the driver is cooperating. Police also say body cameras were not used because the officers on scene were not part of the body-worn camera pilot program. The Critical Incident Response Team has now taken lead on the investigation.
IMPD released the following timeline of events that took place:
8:15 p.m.-Officers conduct a traffic stop
8:22-Officers advise they have one suspect down and incident command is established
8:24-Control holds all but emergency radio traffic
8:25-Officers on scene advise no officers are injured, one suspect down and is lying on top of a gun
8:25-Notification of OIS sent to IMPD Command Staff
8:25-CIRT Team notified via staff page
8:26-Medics staging area established
8:28-Scene safe for medics
8:29-Arriving officers advised there is sufficient help on the scene
8:31-On-call prosecutor notified
8:32-Incident command transferred to east district supervisor
8:34-Suspect confirmed deceased by medics
8:36-POST Team requested
8:37-IMPD Chaplain requested
8:45-On-duty ERG requested for crowd control
8:49-Communications van responding to the scene
8:56-Homeland Security responding to the scene with the drone
9:21-Incident Command transferred to east district commander
10:45-Radio channels split
11:55-On-duty ERG units mark in service
12:55 a.m.-Radio channels brought back together
12:55-Incident Command transferred to east district late shift supervisor
3:02- Incident Command terminated-scene is released