UPDATE (09/26/2023): On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the man shot and killed by police as 27-year-old Ricktez Williams. The cause of death for Williams was ruled as multiple gunshot wounds and his manner of death was ruled a homicide.
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding its fifth officer-involved shooting since Aug. 1.
The most recent officer-involved shooting near Lucas Oil Stadium marks the fourth fatal shooting in two months.
Covert robbery detectives and SWAT officers were on the trail of a man and a woman after the armed robbery of a Dollar General store in the 2200 block of S. Shelby Street Friday night shortly after 9 p.m.
Minutes later, as the suspect vehicle was being pursued in the 600 block of S. Missouri Street, officers conducted a stop and said the man in the passenger seat came out shooting.
Three officers fired back, fatally wounding the passenger and injuring the woman driving the car.
The Marion County Coroner has not yet released the man’s name and IMPD has not responded to a request for additional comment on the investigation of the robbery and the shooting.
Last week, IMPD officers shot Eric Taylor to death in the parking lot of a southside apartment complex when officers said he brandished a gun at them during an investigation into a domestic battery incident and invited the officers to shoot him.
”True enough he had a gun on him but he never brandished a gun towards the police,” said Robert Taylor. ”That’s not my brother. I know my little brother and if he’s going through something, that’s not even a psychotic mentality.”
Investigators said Taylor’s girlfriend told them he threatened to kill her.
Officers Friday night stopped the suspected robber’s vehicle seconds before it would have crossed paths with fans leaving an Indianapolis Indians game at Victory Field.
Earlier this month, officers wounded a suspected burglar inside an auto parts store after they said he stabbed a police K9.
A week before that shooting, officers fatally wounded a man armed with a machete after several hours of conversation when they say he ran towards them in the direction of a neighbor’s house.
The U.S. Supreme Court has found that officers have a right to use deadly force to protect themselves or others from serious bodily injury.
”What happened to when there’s civilians around that you back off?” asked Taylor. ”You’re supposed to take actions for the civilians to be safe. You got so many police who can tail these men and make sure when they’re out of bounds or out of harm’s way of the community or citizens that they can be able to take care of their jobs.”
IMPD officers are also being investigated for the wounding of an armed man who was awakened while asleep in a car in his grandmother’s driveway, the death of a man in custody following a mental illness incident at his parents’ home and the fatal shooting of an armed man who was wounded in the back as he ran from police following a traffic stop this past summer.
”Everybody has fear of the police. These are supposed to be people that are supposed to protect us,” said Taylor. ”We need some people out here to be able to talk to people.”
IMPD and the city admit its mental health response resources are spread thin during partial hours of operation across Indianapolis.
For his part, Taylor admits the community must take into account its own actions that lead to police responses.
”I would think the community responsibility is to look at yourself,” said Taylor. “Once you look at yourself, look at that person that you think you’re about to do something to because when you take an action, repercussion comes to action and your people probably don’t wanna see you gone, and as far as the next person, its not that serious to take a life.”
Officers involved in officer-involved shootings are typically assigned to administrative duty pending investigation by the IMPD Use of Force Board and the Marion County Prosecutor.