INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is wounded during an officer-involved shooting on the near south side.
Officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to a Speedway gas station located in the 2000 block of Shelby Street before 7 a.m. on an unrelated incident for a strong-arm robbery investigation.
While officers were wrapping up that case, they were told that a man in the parking lot had a warrant for his arrest.
IMPD said officers made contact with Antoine Beech who was sitting in the passenger seat of a Chevy and instructed him not to reach for his gun. Police insisted the 38-year-old convicted felon ignored their commands and reached for the gun before an officer fired his weapon. Officers later recovered a firearm from the vehicle.
“Our officers don’t want these to happen. The community doesn’t want these to happen. Sometimes officers are faced with situations where they have to take action,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.
The shooting on Shelby marked at least the 8th IMPD officer-involved shooting involving in the last three months.
“We’re aware that there have been a number of officer-involved shootings in the last several months and the community [has] questions. Why are these taking place? We have the same questions,” said Foley.
The department admitted that the trend is concerning and they will reach out to independent experts to study what may be causing that violence.
“If there are training steps we need to improve or things in the community, if we educate the community, then we want to identify what those things are so we can reduce these incidents,” said Foley.
“Well obviously we’re having so many now everyone is wondering what the heck is going on here in Marion County?” said reverend David Greene with Concerned Clergy.
A study last year by Johns Hopkins found an increase in officer-involved shootings occurred in states that dropped permit requirements to carry concealed weapons.
Whatever the cause locally, some faith leaders believe the increase in police shootings jeopardizes public trust in IMPD.
“It can’t look like it’s open season on the community,” said Greene. “Whether they like it or not perception is reality and people will be like okay they’re always shooting people.”
For his part, Greene called for the DOJ to come in and investigate IMPD policies.
Court records showed Beech did have two active warrants.
One was issued in July following a probation violation after Beech pleaded guilty to drug dealing and resisting law enforcement.
A second warrant for operating while intoxicated was issued in August.
No officers were hurt during the shooting.
The officers were equipped with body-worn cameras and at least one camera was activated during this incident. Surveillance video from the gas station did capture a portion of the incident.
The Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency responded to identify and collect potential forensic evidence.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.
The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team responded to the scene to conduct the criminal investigation. Beech has two active warrants for his arrest. One warrant was for a probation violation with original charges for Dealing Cocaine (F3), Resisting Law Enforcement (F6), and Resisting Law Enforcement (MA). The second warrant was for two counts of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (MA and MC).
A separate administrative investigation is being conducted by IMPD Internal Affairs. The officer who fired his gun has been placed on administrative leave as is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting investigation.
The civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board will conduct a mandatory hearing for any attempted use of deadly force against a person. This occurs after the conclusion of the criminal process.
The Police Officer Support Team (POST) responded to provide peer support for officers. The IMPD Victims Assistance unit responded to assist officers and detectives.
Anyone with information is asked to call. Detective Sergeant Prater at the homicide office by calling (317) 327-3475. Alternatively, anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (317) 262-TIPS.
Jesse Wells contributed to this story.