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‘They wouldn’t have stopped’: Indianapolis, Fishers police discuss deadly crime spree

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FISHERS, Ind. -- It didn’t take IMPD Homicide Sergeant Jeff Breedlove long to figure out he was facing an armed and violent crew that was shooting anything that moved or anyone they knew across the northside of Indianapolis on the night of last October 16th.

Shootings and murders along 38th Street and adjoining neighborhoods to the south from east to west, road rage gunfire along Pendleton Pike, victims fired upon in other parts of the community - all came back to a trio that was locked up in the weeks to come due to enhanced gun evidence collection techniques and intelligence sharing with suburban and federal law enforcement partners.

The beginning of the end resulted in the fatal shooting of Fishers Police K-9 Harlej by a fleeing suspected felon in Hamilton County on November 13th.

“They wouldn’t have stopped,” said Breedlove as he reflected back on the sacrifice of the Fishers K-9 in the apprehension of Richard Garrett and Rashaana Farrow.

Their alleged co-conspirator Delance Hatcher was already sitting in the Marion County Jail when earlier that day the Indianapolis Violence Reduction Project, an IMPD-led bi-weekly intelligence sharing confab with federal, state and suburban law enforcement partners, already targeted Garrett for arrest.

Within hours, Garrett and Farrow were taken into custody and detectives began examining the gun that was dropped after Harlej was shot to death chasing Garrett through a wooded area.

As a result of the involvement of Fishers Police in IMPD’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center, Breedlove soon learned that Garrett’s gun tested positive for involvement in a spree of violent crime that claimed two lives in Indianapolis.

“Marion Co. Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced that Richard Garrett, Delance Hatcher, and Rashaana Farrow were charged with the deaths of Devon Gillespie and Anthony Mack,” IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey told reporters at Fishers Police headquarters today.

“The three persons listed that I just spoke about were involved in 13 different incidents in Indianapolis resulting in violent crime taking two peoples’ lives and impacting the lives of 18 people through various robberies and people shot.”

Since its inception a year ago, IMPD reports that CGIC has resulted in the seizure of 254 firearms and 339 arrests after more than 3000 guns were examined.

Fishers PD reports that its own CGIC involvement has led to the seizure of 84 guns, 56 of which were traced back to Indianapolis crimes.

“In order to make true impact, in order to protect tomorrow, we have to act today,” said Fishers Chief Ed Gebhart. “Crime doesn’t know any borders, neither should law enforcement, neither should law enforcement leaders.”

Fishers would appear to be the only suburban department to fully embrace CGIC though it has trained 150 officers and personnel from 22 agencies on the gun evidence collection process.

“If we all get on board, there’s nowhere to go,” said Gebhart.

“The message to those trigger pullers,” said Bailey, “whether its Indianapolis or Fishers or anywhere in the region is that, you may not get caught today, but you will get caught, and you will be held accountable for the violence that you perpetrate in our communities. It is unacceptable.”

Garrett faces 23 counts, Farrow 15 counts and Hatcher 15 counts in Marion County for their alleged roles in the spree which lasted from October 6th until October 20th in Indianapolis.

Garrett faces 14 counts for his role in the Fishers pursuit and fatal shooting of Harlej.

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