INDIANAPOLIS – A suspect died and two officers were injured following a shooting on the east side.
According to IMPD, it happened in the 3000 block of N. Post Road. IMPD said the officers’ injuries were believed to be non-life-threatening. On Friday, police announced that both officers were released from the hospital.
There were some road closures associated with the investigation on Thursday, including parts of 30th Street and Post Road.
During an update around 2:20 p.m. Thursday, Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said the incident involved a pursuit that ended with a barrage of gunfire. According to Bailey, the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force was working on an investigation in conjunction with the Lawrence Police Department.
They spotted a suspect as part of that investigation around 12:40 p.m. and tried to pull him over near 30th and Post. The man had a passenger in the vehicle and didn’t stop. Police twice tried to disable the car, but those attempts failed.
The car eventually turned in to a business parking lot as police followed and ran into a dead end. The vehicle attempted to go off-road through a gap between a building and a fence. It became lodged, leading to an exchange of gunfire involving the suspect and officers.
Four officers were involved in the shooting, Bailey said.
The suspect was killed during the exchange, while two of the officers were injured. They were placed in the back of police cars and taken to Eskenazi Hospital. Bailey said the suspect, identified as 46-year-old Daniel Yefter Ghebrehiwet, had an AR-15-style rifle that left one police car riddled with bullets.
The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Daniel Yefter Ghebrehiwet.
Both officers were expected to survive.
“We were lucky today,” Bailey said of the shooting. “The bullets went through the metal of the car. There’s part of the car that’s peeled back. That’s how powerful [the weapon] is.”
The passenger ran away from the scene but was apprehended shortly after that. Police took him in for questioning.
During his briefing, an impassioned Bailey said police were weary of the constant violence. The shooting and chase followed a series of shootings Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
“We are fed up with it. The community should be fed up with it,” Bailey said. “And we have two officers that are lucky to be alive today. And they’re doing exactly what we want them to do. Despite all the odds. Despite everything that’s stacked up against them. Despite all the criticism they take every single day. They put on the uniform today and went out to get the people who are terrorizing our neighborhoods. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Bailey went on to say police were tired of the violence and said they needed help from the community.
Officers were wearing body cameras, although Bailey said he had not seen the footage and didn’t have a timeline for when it would be released. Investigators were working to track the suspect’s gun to find out where it came from and how he obtained it.
The shooting remains under investigation.
Mayor Joe Hogsett, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor and Lawrence Police Chief Gary Woodruff delivered comments from outside Eskenazi Hospital.
Hogsett visited the officers at the hospital and told reporters they deserve “our prayers and our praise.” He pointed out the risks officers face every time they leave home.
“While these two officers deserve admiration for what they did today, I want to stress every officer within IMPD does the same thing every single day,” Hogsett said.
The mayor referred to the officers as heroes and said he stood with all of IMPD. Hogsett said he called U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers and to ask for the full support of the Department of Justice, the FBI and ATF.
“[We’ve seen] time and time and time again criminal activity targeting innocent residents and other law enforcement agencies where the perpetrator is a convicted felon with no legal right to possess a firearm,” Hogsett said. “I want those people to know that we are coming for them, and that we are not stopping there.”
The mayor said he couldn’t “shut off the faucet of guns that pour into Indianapolis” but pledged to find and punish those involved in what he called an “illicit marketplace of death.”
Taylor said his officers ran toward danger, even though they were confronted with a person armed with a high-powered rifle.
“Who does that? I’ll you: my officers do,” Taylor said. “Not just these two, but every IMPD officer that’s out there trying to protect [people] is willing to do those same things. They are incredible.”
Taylor said officers have shown they would do “whatever it takes” to protect themselves and their community.
“We have got to find ways to put an end to this,” he said, referring to violence.
Taylor also spoke to the officers and believed they’d be back on the street in “short order.” He added that he prayed for the community and his officers every day. He asked everyone to pray for them.
Woodruff reiterated comments from Hogsett and Taylor. He would not elaborate on his department’s connection to the day’s events, saying only that it was an ongoing case that began as a firearms investigation with the Lawrence Police Department.
The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police responded with a statement:
Today we are reminded once again, what is put to risk each time the women and men of law enforcement put on their badge and step forward to stand the line on behalf of the communities they serve.
We are collectively grateful that both of these officers are expected to recover from non-life threatening injuries.
Yet that is only part of the story…
Think of the courage it takes to boldly stand the line that separates good from evil at a time when:
• On average an Officer is shot in the line of duty every 25 hours in our nation
• On average an Officers dies in the line of duty every 52 hours
• Approximately 165 Officers are assaulted daily
• On average an Officer is exposed to a life altering tragic Critical Incident every other month
Often, our politicians in charge are quick to blame the instruments used and leverage political agendas such as talking about “Gun” violence.
Yet our residents and officers are left stuck in the middle of “human” violence often committed by repeat offenders with no value for the sanctity of life.
These are matters of the human heart and we must get back to basics in addressing it.
Therefore, we call on our community to pray for police and find ways to love your neighbor.
Solutions will come from neighbors loving neighbors, not from politicians trying to score political points.RICK SNYDER, INDIANAPOLIS FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also issued a statement:
“It’s tragic and discouraging to see officers protecting our community senselessly attacked while doing their job. We send our best wishes for their speedy recovery. The Indiana FBI stands with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in the fight against violent crime. We relentlessly investigate the most violent and dangerous offenders who use, traffic, or possess firearms in violation of federal laws, and we work closely with community leaders to find solutions for preventing violence that complement law enforcement efforts. We will never stop working to make our communities safer.”Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton