INDIANAPOLIS — Detectives from the Indiana Crime Gun Task Force were hunting for D’Armon Graves with an arrest warrant for a parole violation Tuesday afternoon when they say he aimed a gun at them and they fired first, fatally wounding the prison parolee at the corner of E. 40th Street and N. Keystone Avenue on the northeast side of Indianapolis.
Graves was the fifth person shot to death by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers since Aug. 1, and this time an Indiana State Police trooper was by their side.
“Again, an encounter with an incredibly violent individual that said he is not going back to prison,” said ISP Superintendent Doug Carter, who was at the scene shortly after the shooting. “I think when you get to the point in the decision matrix where he had found himself in last night, he was gonna come out of that car shooting and he did and it’s very clear what happened. There’s always going to be people like him that have fallen through the cracks in the system of no hope.”
Graves, 42, had served 15 years of a 40-year prison sentence for a Vigo County conviction of robbery with serious bodily injury in 2006.
Paroled in November of 2021, he was arrested this past May for his alleged involvement in the armed carjacking of a tobacco truck deliveryman.
Though Graves was found driving the stolen truck the next day and captured after a foot chase, the carjacking victim could not positively identify him, leading prosecutors to file a pair of misdemeanor charges.
Within days, Graves was released from custody only to fail to appear for his first court date.
Indiana Parole agents sought his arrest on a warrant charging a parole violation related to a serious violent felony.
As crime gun detectives sought to track Graves to a home where he could be apprehended by SWAT officers, investigators said the targeted man continued to cruise the city, driven about by a woman behind the wheel of the car.
Detectives attempted to box Graves in at the northeast side intersection. The woman driver got out of the car but Graves stayed in the passenger seat until police say he emerged with a gun in his hand.
While Graves may have aimed his gun at officers, there’s no evidence yet as to whether he fired.
Instead, officers did, with three detectives shooting, dozens of bullet casings littering the ground, several scars from rounds on a nearby business’ walls and Graves lay dead in the street where police recovered his gun.
“These IMPD officers and troopers and other agencies that participate in the Crime Guns Task Force are putting themselves in grave danger,” said Carter, “And they’re going after the worst of the worst of the worst and they’re gonna continue to do that.”
In May, an Indiana State trooper wounded a distraught man who aimed a gun at him at a southeast side gas station.
Tuesday night, a state trooper was temporarily involved in the high-speed pursuit of a car driving erratically on Indianapolis’ eastside when, after the chase was suspended, the fleeing driver ran a red light, crashing into another vehicle and killing three people.
Carter said his troopers, whose typical duties include traffic enforcement on Indiana highways, will continue to patrol and investigate with IMPD inside Marion County’s I-465 loop.
“There is a need to support IMPD and now probably more than ever before and the Crime Guns Task Force initiative has really propelled that into something very different than any of us have ever experienced,” he said. “The urban initiatives are so very important because there’s a perception in Indianapolis, and the perception is reality, so we feel a need and we’re gonna try to fill that void with the finite amount of resources that we have.”