Suspect accused of shooting officer has ‘lengthy’ criminal history, police say

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind – Indianapolis Metropolitan police say an officer wounded during a struggle with a shoplifting suspect Sunday night is recovering in good condition.

IMPD officials say officer Eric Rosenbaum was shot in the leg while trying to apprehend William Allen, 40, on the city’s east side Sunday evening. Allen was being sought on suspicion of shoplifting from the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store near E. 25th Street and Post Road. During the course of the search, police say officer Rosenbaum encountered Allen in a neighborhood just south of 25th Street and Galaxy Lane.

A witness to the incident says he saw the two men in a physical struggle in his neighbor’s back yard.

William Allen (Photo provided by IMPD)

“There was a person on top, and they had on a white shirt,” the witness said. “And then I noticed I seen a blue shirt. And then I noticed, looked a little closer, I noticed it was a police officer.”

The witness said the struggle between the two men ended suddenly with the sound of a gunshot.

“I did hear a pop before they got up,” the witness said. “I was hoping he didn’t shoot him, but it sounded like a gunshot.”

Fellow officers were able to use trauma kits to treat Rosenbaum at the scene for a gunshot wound to his thigh. An officer rushed Rosenbaum to Eskenazi hospital in a police patrol car.

After the gunshot, the neighborhood witness said Allen hid from police between two sheds. A large police presence quickly filled the neighborhood as officers searched for Allen.

“Pretty wild scene, pretty scary,” the witness said. “I’ve never seen so many police in my life. When I seen the police coming out with assault rifles, that was pretty scary.”

Allen was apprehended in the neighborhood and arrested on a preliminary charge of attempted murder. Police have not said whether the shot that wounded officer Rosenbaum came from his own gun or a different weapon.

Online records show William Allen lives in Noblesville and is on the Indiana Violent and Sex Offender Registry. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department says Allen has been on the registry since last June. Records show Allen was convicted of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Midland, Michigan in 1998. IMPD says Allen has a lengthy criminal history in four states.

Metro Police say detectives are still interviewing potential witnesses and gathering evidence in the case. Allen is being held on no bond at the Marion County Jail on a preliminary charge of attempted murder.

IMPD Chief Bryan Roach issued this statement:

“Each day, the women and men of the IMPD put on this uniform and leave their families behind to serve our community. No day is routine in a police officer’s job, and I’m proud of the work they do to keep our neighborhoods safe. We remain committed to working alongside neighborhoods, local organizations, and the entire Indianapolis community to make our city a safer place for all. We are so grateful Officer Rosenbaum survived this violent encounter, and our prayers are with him and his family during this time.”

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