#IMPDNOW Deputy Chief of Investigations Bill Lorah providing updates on yesterday's incident. pic.twitter.com/djDbBr6d6tIMPD Chief Rick Hite and lead investigators just conducted a live press conference regarding yesterday afternoon's police action shooting. A black male, 36-year old Mack Long, fled from a car during a traffic stop made by an IMPD officer at East 31st Street near Sherman Drive. The officer, Kyle Flynn, who stopped the car driven by Long in which a female passenger was also present said he noticed Long was carrying a firearm on his waist as he fled the car. A chase on foot into a wooded, fenced area behind a house not far from the traffic stop reportedly led to a confrontation between the officer and Long during which the suspect was fatally shot. Initially, IMPD reported that both officers were injured when they were grazed by a bullet fired by a gun held by the suspect. Here's what WISH-TV reported following the police-action shooting:
— IMPD (@IMPD_News) April 13, 2015
Police confirmed that shots were exchanged with a suspect and two IMPD officers. Both officers were grazed by a bullet, IMPD confirmed. They were in stable condition.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The officer felt his life was in danger. There was a struggle over the gun. He came in contact with an armed suspect, and here’s where we are,” said Officer Chris Wilburn, public information officer for IMPD.
According to IMPD, the incident started as a traffic stop. The suspect got out of the car and fled on foot. An officer pursuing the suspect noticed they had a gun. The officer in pursuit of the suspect and a second officer, who was called in for backup, were involved in a scuffle when gunfire was exchanged.
“At this point we believe what we know. What we’ve been told. The suspect was struggling for the officer’s weapon,” said Officer Wilburn.
As police investigated that shooting, more shots were fired just blocks away. Police said no one was hurt and they don’t know who fired those shots.
#IMPDNOW Officer Involved Shooting during traffic stop at E 31st/N Sherman Dr officer was grazed by bullet/suspect is deceasedDuring this evening's press conference, Chief Hite and Deputy Chief of Investigations Bill Lorah told something entirely different. The suspect fired no shots at either officer. Only one of the officers was slightly injured during a struggle with the suspect, which occurred after Officer Flynn fired one shot at the suspect. When the second police officer, Jered Hildlebaugh, arrived at the scene to aid Officer Flynn, police now say Flynn was struggling with the suspect when the second officer fired additional shots at the suspect. In total, four shots were discharged by the officers, with three bullets striking Long, who had gunshot wounds to his chest, side and arm. Police say Long, who has prior convictions for drug-related offenses, had what appeared to be marijuana on his body at the time of his death. Hite disclosed that Officer Hildlebaugh was wearing a body cam, while an unidentified citizen videotaped the incident from afar. Hite said investigators had both videos and he expected the Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office to eventually release them to the public.
— IMPD (@IMPD_News) April 12, 2015
Hite continually emphasized that IMPD is being transparent as he says it is in all incidents involving police actions. Some may find that hard to believe. Six months passed before a police officer, Justin Beaton, was recently charged with attempting to kill his live-in girlfriend. Questions were raised about how thoroughly police investigated the incident when Beaton's girlfriend was first treated for her injuries last August. Police sources told Advance Indiana that IMPD covered up a citizen complaint about a police car being driven by Capt. Phil Burton last December 20, 2014 erratically at high speeds. Advance Indiana obtained proof of the incident from the Marion Co. Sheriff's Office after IMPD continually denied access to that information. Audio recordings confirmed the citizen complainant was treated like the wrongdoer for having reported on the police officer. Police sources complained that police brass waited several hours before administering a blood alcohol test. According to the sources, Burton attributed the alcohol level in his system to cough syrup he had taken earlier in the day.
On April 5, a 34-year old man, Aaron D. Barnes, who was living with IMPD Officer Gregory Slaven, was found dead in the police officer's home. Police sources told Advance Indiana Barnes was found bound in a cage wearing what was described as a chloroform mask. Friends of Slaven disputed the claim Barnes was found in a cage, although they indicated he died accidentally while "huffing" an unidentified substance while he was alone. A Facebook site of the officer since removed from the Internet depicted Barnes, who went by the name Aaron Slaven, as in a submissive, slave-like relationship with Slaven, whom he referred to as "Sir Greg" or "Dad." Photos posted on Facebook showed Officer Slaven in various states of undress, including images of him wearing only a jock strap or with his private parts covered only by a sash. Officer Slaven complained on Facebook three days later that he had been required to be drug and alcohol tested, which he suggested wouldn't have been required of him if he was a straight police officer whose wife had died at home while he was at work at his part-time job. IMPD has yet to comment publicly on the matter. Police sources have complained to Advance Indiana about the less-than-transparent manner in which IMPD was handling a death investigation involving one of its own officers.