August 28, 2023

IMPD identifies officer who shot and killed man on city's northwest side

IMPD identifies officer who shot and killed man on city's northwest side

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Friday identified the officer who shot and killed a man on the northwest side of Indianapolis on Aug. 27.

Lt. John Perkins is a 28-year veteran of IMPD. He has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

The Marion County Coroner's Office identified the man who died as 40-year-old Kendall Darnell Gilbert.

The shooting occurred on an IMPD “check the welfare” call at the 4500 block of Woodland Drive on the northwest side of Indianapolis, after a woman pushed her medical button stating someone was trying to kill her. According to IMPD, they found Gilbert making threats towards the family and officers while holding a machete near the house’s front door. 

After IMPD officers helped other family members out of the residence, IMPD said Crisis Negotiators tried to speak to Gilbert but “were not able to have any meaningful conversation.” 

At around 9:10 p.m. the SWAT team used “a distraction device and multiple less lethal devices” in an attempt to take the Gilbert into custody. But after Gilbert reportedly moved towards the officers and touched the ballistics shield an officer was holding, a member of the SWAT team shot Gilbert at least once. 

IMPD did not report any other injuries. 

The Sunday night events transpired after multiple calls and IMPD runs were made to the same home for two days prior. IMPD said all reportedly involved Gilbert experiencing mental health episodes.

On Friday afternoon, IMPD said a caller said Gilbert was schizophrenic and “was sending out strange messages to family.” Officers responded to the scene, but no report was made.

On Saturday, officers responded twice to the same home. The first was at 1:30 a.m., when a caller said Gilbert was destroying property in his bedroom and refusing to open the door for family. 

IMPD reported “officers believed the man was not a danger to others and no report was made.” 

At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Gilbert was reported to have a mental episode and was threatening to decapitate family members. IMPD said that officers assisted family members out and provided them with information about mental health resources.

On Sunday around 5:20 p.m. IMPD responded to the home in the afternoon after a caller said their brother was hallucinating and making threats to burn the house down. Officers told family members to leave the residence.

When officers responded to another call later that night, Gilbert reportedly moved towards the officers making threats while holding a machete, and an officer shot him. 

IMPD reported “a psychologist with the Crisis Negotiation Unit was on scene and assisting.”

“Multiple officers were equipped with body-worn cameras, which were activated during this incident,” IMPD said. 

Multiple separate investigations by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, IMPD Critical Incident Response Team, IMPD Internal Affairs and a civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board are underway. 

This incident follows another recent officer-involved shooting that happened on Aug. 3.

The Community Resource District Council hosted a town hall Monday night for the public to ask questions about that other incident. 

Gary Harrell was shot and killed by a police officer following a traffic stop on Aug. 3. Edited body-worn camera footage that was released last week shows Harrell running away from the officer with a gun in his hand. His back is turned when the officer fires two shots, hitting Harrell once.

This story has been updated.

WFYI's criminal justice reporter Katrina Pross and policy editor Emilie Syberg contributed reporting.

Contact managing editor Farah Yousry at fyousry@wfyi.org

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