August 7, 2019

IMPD Chief Says Officers Involved In Fatal Shooting Feared For Their Lives

Police Chief Bryan Roach says based on what he’s heard, he’s confident the officers reacted appropriately. - Drew Daudelin/WFYI

Police Chief Bryan Roach says based on what he’s heard, he’s confident the officers reacted appropriately.

Drew Daudelin/WFYI

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Bryan Roach gave an update on the police-involved shooting that left one man dead last week.

On Friday night three police officers who work on IMPD’s Flex Team – a small group that focuses on violent crime – initiated a traffic stop on the far east side. Police say the passenger, now identified as 45-year-old Deshon Downing, gave a false name, and when asked to exit the car pointed a gun towards an officer.

Two officers then fired on Downing, police say, and he was killed.

Roach says based on what he’s heard, the officers reacted appropriately.

"I have nothing that would suggest other than those officers were in fear of their life," Roach told reporters during a Wednesday press conference. "They weren't prepared for when that gun came around. And they reacted based on their training, and in the preservation of their life."

Roach says they won't name the officers at this point in the investigation, primarily to protect them from threats. All three are currently on administrative leave.

None of the officers involved were part of IMPD's body camera pilot program. Roach says more details will come soon, from an autopsy, a criminal investigation and an internal administrative review.

In a briefing on the incident posted online, IMPD provided a detailed timeline of what they believe happened:

8:15 p.m. – Officers conduct a traffic stop
8:22 – Officers advise they one suspect down and incident command is established
8:24 – Control holds all but emergency radio traffic
8:25 – Officers on scene advise no officers are injured one suspect down and is lying on top of a gun
8:25 – Notification of OIS sent to IMPD Command Staff
8:25 – CIRT Team notified via staff page
8:26 – Medics staging area established
8:28 – Scene safe for medics
8:29 – Arriving officers advised there is sufficient help on the scene
8:31 – On call prosecutor notified
8:32 – Incident command transferred to east district supervisor
8:34 – Suspect confirmed deceased by medics
8:36 – POST Team requested
8:37 – IMPD Chaplain requested
8:45 – On-duty ERG requested for crowd control
8:49 – Communications van responding to the scene
8:56 – Homeland Security responding to the scene with the drone
9:21 – Incident Command transferred to east district commander
10:45 – Radio channels split
11:55 – On-duty ERG units mark in service
12:55 a.m. – Radio channels brought back together
12:55 – Incident Command transferred to east district late shift supervisor
3:02 – Incident Command terminated-scene is released

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