INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 6, 2016) – According to police, surveillance video does not show the fatal shooting of an unarmed suspect by an IMPD officer.
The incident began Tuesday night when Kevin Hicks, 44, was allegedly assaulting his wife while she was driving. The couple's young child was also a passenger inside the car during the disturbance.
The woman called 911 and told dispatchers her husband was assaulting her. The woman then saw an IMPD squad car at the Marathon gas station on 10th Street and Rural Street, so parked next to the officer’s car.
She told the officer her husband was assaulting her, and the officer attempted to intervene.
Hicks exited the car to speak with the officer, and that’s when Hicks and the officer got into a physical altercation. The officer attempted to deploy his Taser but it was knocked from his hand.
Police say surveillance video shows Hicks knocking the Taser from his hand, but after that, the two fell to the ground and ultimately outside the view of the surveillance camera.
Witness statements indicate Hicks may have attempted to gain control of the officer’s gun during this struggle. The officer discharged his weapon and shot Hicks. The surveillance footage does not show the shooting. The officer suffered a bite to his hand as well as a possible hand fracture and a possible concussion.
Because the suspect was unarmed, the family still has questions about why Hicks was shot.
“I loved him so much,” said one family member who asked not to be identified. “I loved him. He didn’t have to die… I just feel they was wrong to take his life the way they took his life.”
The Marathon gas station released the surveillance video to police who then turned it over to prosecutors.
“What is on camera is a fight that wasn’t just dancing around. There were punches blows being thrown,” said IMPD deputy chief Valerie Cunningham.
During that scuffle Cunningham says the officer tried to back away from the fight before pulling the trigger.
“You know the officer followed policy and announced the use of a Taser. He attempted to disengage. All things officers are trained to do,” said Cunningham.
According to court records, Hicks had been on work release following a prior domestic battery and a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to check in Tuesday night.
Leaders in the black community say it’s important not to rush to judgment on either side.
“There is some distrust of police, especially in the black community so I think transparency is important,” said Rev. Charles Harrison.
According to police, it’s too early to say if the shooting was justified or not.
The officer involved in the incident is a six-year veteran and will be placed on leave as the investigation continues.