UPDATE (12/5/23): Demarqus Whitley pleaded guilty to resisting law enforcement, Level 6 felony and all other charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 545 days in the county jail, but much of the sentence was credited and suspended.
Update (11/24/23): In a press release sent Friday, IMPD reported that the gun officers found with Leandre Krushaun Houston was reported stolen a few days before the officer-involved shooting incident occurred.
INDIANAPOLIS — Police are investigating after an officer-involved shooting on the east side of Indianapolis left one person dead Friday evening.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were dispatched to the 7500 block of Ruskin Place at approximately 5 p.m. on a report of an unsafe gunshot scene.
According to IMPD, the incident started when officers tried to initiate a traffic stop with a suspect who was wanted on a warrant for theft, unlawful possession of a firearm and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle. Police also believe the driver stole guns from cars in the Broad Ripple area.
IMPD reported that the chase ended near Ruskin Place and North Mitchner Avenue.
The driver, who was the wanted person, then got out of the car and ran in one direction. The passenger, who was later identified as a male, exited the vehicle and fled in a different direction.
The passenger was involved in the shooting, and a firearm was located with the person. Police believe the passenger pulled an object from their waistband and jumped over a fence before the shooting occurred.
IMPD officials do not know if the passenger discharged a weapon at any point during the incident.
The passenger was transported to IU Methodist Hospital in very serious condition. IMPD reported that the man, later identified as 31-year-old Leandre Krushaun Houston died at the hospital.
The driver, who was later identified as Demarqus Whitley, was not injured in the shooting. IMPD has indicated that Whitley has been arrested.
Whitley was found hiding under a vehicle in the 7600 block of Ruskin Place. He is now facing multiple preliminary charges, including resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle without a driver’s license.
No officers have been injured in this shooting. The streets surrounding the scene will be blocked off as investigators collect forensic evidence.
IMPD Major Seth Ferrell said police are still gathering information related to the shooting. Ferrell reported that incident occurred near a fence. That fence obstructed the footage captured by the shooting officer’s body camera.
Additional officers responded to the incident, and their bodycams were activated. Those officers were not at the exact location of the shooting when the incident occurred.
“We are keenly aware of the number of officer-involved shootings we’ve had this year,” Ferrell said. “Any loss of life is tragic. I’m thankful that our officers and no other uninvolved citizens were injured during this incident.”
“Our officers were doing exactly what the community expects of them, tracking and apprehending violent offenders, people who traffic firearms in our city, and making the city safer for all involved.”
The officer who discharged his service weapon has been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure for police involved in shootings.
IMPD is not looking for any other individuals connected to the incident at this time. Police do not believe there is an active threat to the community at this time.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477. Alternatively, tipsters can contact IMPD Detective Michael Wright by calling 317-327-3475.
IMPD’s critical incident response team was on the scene to conduct the criminal investigation.
A civilian-majority use-of-force review board will conduct an incident hearing at the conclusion of the criminal process.
IMPD officers have been involved in 16 shootings this year. Nine of those officer-involved shooting incidents have resulted in fatalities.