Suspect in stabbing, downtown hit-and-run spree dies in jail

Indianapolis Area Crime

Michael Morris

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 28, 2015) — A man who went on a rampage earlier this week in downtown Indianapolis has died in jail.

Sources confirmed that Michael Morris died in custody. According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Morris was found unresponsive on Thursday around 9:40 p.m. in a cell in the Marion County Lock Up located in the basement of the City-County Building. Jail officials said it appeared he killed himself. No foul play was suspected, and the case is being investigated by Indianapolis Metropolitan police, the sheriff’s office and Marion County Coroner’s Office.

The suspect had been set to make his first court appearance on Monday.

“A vehicle ran over my foot and sideswiped me,” recalls one victim David Gatis. “I was able to jump out of the way and jump back.”

Gatis dodged major injury, but watched as the driver slammed into another man, causing severe head and leg wounds.

“At that time I realized that the individual was intentionally trying to strike people,” said Gatis.

Police say the bizarre crime spree started while the suspect was house sitting at a home on the east side.

The suspect allegedly became violent after taking drugs, stabbed his wife in the stomach and stole a car.

After hitting 6 people downtown, police eventually caught up with the driver Michael Morris when he crashed the stolen car.

Police booked Morris into jail on a variety of charges, but just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday, guards found the 41-year-old unresponsive inside his cell in the Marion county lockup in the basement of the city-county building.

Jail administrators won`t say if Morris had been on suicide watch, but nearly half of the jail’s inmates require additional security for mental health issues.

“On any given day 40 percent of our population are classified as mentally ill and many of those severely so,” said Marion County sheriff’s office Col. Louis Dezelan.

Dezelan says jail staff does their best to keep inmates safe, fed and medicated.

Those that are considered suicidal are kept separate from others, but it is a constant challenge.

“We`re not a hospital, even though the sheriff is the de-facto mental health caretaker for the county, we are not a hospital,” said Dezelan.

The death is being investigated by several agencies, but no foul play is suspected.

As for the 6 victims hit and the wife that got stabbed, all are expected to survive.

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