Muncie police officer shoots suspect while being dragged nearly 300 feet by van


Scene of the police-action shooting in Muncie

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Update (June 19, 2018)– James Tabb was sentenced to 23 years and 6 months in prison.

Update (April 6, 2018)– James Tabb was found guilty of three counts of dealing in a narcotic drug. An additional count of possession of a narcotic drug resulted in a mistrial.

Update (Feb. 22, 2017)– George Neloms was found guilty of possession of a narcotic drug. His sentencing is set for March 20.

Update (May 28, 2016)– The four individuals involved in this incident, including James Tabb, William Jackson, George Neloms, and Michelle Knight, have been charged. No charges will be filed against the officer who fired his weapon.  The facts gathered in the investigation indicate that he did so in self-defense.

MUNCIE, Ind.– A Muncie police officer and three suspects were injured Friday in a police-action shooting.

Just before 3 p.m., an officer pulled a van over for a traffic violation on North Elgin Street, near the entrance of Elgin Manor Apartments. During the stop, the officer noticed suspicious activity inside the van. The nature of that suspicious activity was not disclosed, but drugs were later found inside the van.

Muncie Police Chief Steve Stewart said a narcotics officer assisted and attempted to open the passenger-side door to instruct the passenger to get out of the van. At that time, the van sped off. The officer was dragged along with the van for about 280 feet.

As he was being dragged, the officer fired his weapon at least once at the suspects inside the van, striking at least one of them. He was then flung from the vehicle.

The suspects continued to flee and the van eventually stopped in the 2200 block of North Turner Drive. All three suspects took off on foot. Two of the suspects were located at a nearby home. The third suspect was seen running between homes and was taken into custody.

All three suspects were taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Two of the suspects are in stable condition and are expected to be released from the hospital and taken to jail. They were hurt while jumping from the moving van. The third, who was hit by the gunfire, is in critical condition and receiving surgery.

The injured officer is currently in stable condition. He suffered road rash on his legs and is expected to be okay.

“We’ve got a good officer that puts himself in harms way every day and unfortunately today, it could have been much much worse, but fortunately it wasn’t,” said Stewart.

Due to the fact that an officer fired his weapon, Indiana State Police will handle the investigation.

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