INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 13, 2015)-- Family members of a man killed in an officer-involved shooting Sunday say he ran because he was scared of being arrested.
Mack Long was 36 years old with two felony cocaine convictions and his wife's registered handgun. He shouldn't have been carrying the pistol when the car he was riding in was pulled over by a police officer Sunday afternoon.
"He just was out a nice day," said his brother James Long, "He probably had his gun on him, police pulled him over, he was scared, jumped out the car and ran. Police probably seen his gun."
"My brother was scared, like I told you, he ran because he had a weapon on him, that officer had to see my brother's weapon and they shot my brother."
Long was riding in a car driven by Keonna Williams, which was pulled over for a tail light violation at East 30th Street and North Sherman Drive.
"He was trying to get his wallet and he was like getting something out of the car and the police officer asked him to stop fidgeting," said Williams in the front yard of a Gale Street home surrounded by Long's grieving relatives. "He told them his hands were up, which they were and was in clear view of everything. He seen me and Mack and Mack told him, 'I feel like you want to shoot me,' and the only thing said was, 'I'm not going shoot you. I'm not going to shoot.'"
That's when Keonna said Long made the first in a chain of mistakes that led to his death.
"By this time Mack was reaching for my door, to my driver's side, and crawled over the top of me and ran on the side of my car and once they got out of my sight that's all I seen and heard."
"I heard four gunshots not even a minute later," Keonna said, tears streaming down her face. "I knew. I already knew."
A witness told CBS4 News he saw Long pursued by one officer between houses two blocks away. First one officer, then his partner, caught up with Long behind an abandoned house in the 3100 block of East 31st Street. According to police accounts, Long and the first officer struggled on the other side of a brush covered fence line on the edge of a wooded area. That's where at least four shots were fired.
Bloodstains mark the spot where the fatal encounter occurred.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Rick Hite told CBS4 News that his officers were in fear for their lives and struggled to keep control of their weapons from a combative man. Hite is awaiting ballistics test results and autopsy findings to determine how many times Long was shot, where he was shot, and which guns were fired.
"They killed my brother all because he ran and had a gun," said Long. "He was supposed to came over to my momma's house for dinner."
Hite told CBS4 News he was reluctant to make a public comment until the investigation is complete. The chief is worried that premature speculation based on rumor and unfounded opinions could cause locally the kind of outraged public reactions to other recent police action shootings in the United States.