INDIANAPOLIS — On January 26, 2011, IMPD Officer David S. Moore died three days after he was shot in the line of duty at only 29-years-old. However, that was not the end of his service to the Indianapolis community.
IMPD said that Moore was making a routine traffic stop on January 23, 2011, when the driver he was stopping pulled over in the 3400 block of North Temple Ave. Before Moore approached the vehicle, which was later determined to be stolen, police said he typed the description and plate number into his computer.
It’s not clear whether Moore knew if the car was stolen at the time of the traffic stop. Police said the driver, Thomas Hardy, shot Moore four times, including two times in the head, and then fled the scene.
It was a passerby that called 911 to report an officer down, but it was sadly too late. Moore would remain in a coma for several days before he was taken off life support.
“He was just working away, looking, and driving through neighborhoods and he had already ran I believe about 20 plates and made some traffic stops and then he ventured along this car that was off of 34th and Temple area and made that traffic stop on the suspect that wound up taking his life,” said Capt. Tom Koppel, who served as North District Commander at the time of Moore’s death.
Police took Hardy into custody later in the day after arresting him in connection to the robbery of a Dollar General that occurred less than one hour after Moore’s shooting.
According to IMPD, Hardy was a long-time offender, who was on parole at the time of Moore’s death. Due to administrative error within the Department of Corrections, police said Hardy’s parole status had not been entered into the law enforcement database and in turn, he was freed on bond in December 2010 following a November arrest on felony theft charges, a violation of his parole.
It was during Hardy’s sentencing hearing in the murder of Officer Moore that Capt. Koppel delivered a victim impact statement on behalf of the men and women of IMPD’s North District.
On the 11-year anniversary of Moore’s passing, he shared with FOX59 the poignant words that he delivered to the court the day Hardy was sentenced to life without parole.
“His senseless killing by the defendant — unleashed an emotional torrent of pain, anger, guilt and sorrow. It tore at the very core of our way of life here in Indianapolis; our freedom to live in peace our sense of security in our city. The struggle of Good vs. Evil was, and is today, on the minds and hearts of many. To the defendant, I say this: although today is your judgement day in this Judge’s court, I hope that you work out your own salvation with the heavenly Father — as you will stand before God after you pass from this earth, while serving your life sentence for murdering another man, and you will be judged and held accountable for the sin you’ve committed in a much more permanent fashion — eternity.”
The verbal statement, which was two pages typed out in length, went on to also say in part:
“Officer David Moore was not the type of man who would seek retribution for such a senseless act of violence and malice, but rather one who would seek justice. As the Moore family has been a bulwark of strength and faith, and an example of great patience and love to all in this whole ordeal, they’ve shared their son’s memory and now legacy with us all. Although David is gone physically from our midst, he won’t be forgotten.”
IMPD officers and those who knew and loved Moore choose to remember the legacy he left behind and the way he not only served the community before his passing, but how he continues to do so to this day.
“He was a consummate professional, he was very well liked by everybody that he touched. He knew his job, he knew it well,” said Koppel, who said above all, Moore was compassionate and genuinely loved to serve his community both on and off the job.
Moore served on the department for 6.5 years, including on the Bomb Squad and as a Field Training Officer, and was assigned to the North District.
In the days between the shooting and Officer Moore’s death, IMPD said his parents made arrangements to donate as many of his organs as possible. Because he was in great physical condition and was wearing a bullet-resistant vest at the time of the shooting, protecting his chest and abdomen, he was able to save five people and heal several others.
One of those recipients is Lance Lewis, who received Moore’s lungs.
Lewis said, “For us we couldn’t help wondering in the back of our mind, just because of the pure timing of the event, could this be Officer Moore as my donor?”
Around three months after receiving his double lung transplant, Lewis was handed a letter by a nurse at a clinic visit that confirmed their inclination. Lewis said they met Officer Moore’s family within a few months and to this day, remain close and consider them like family of their own.
“I’ve always tried to live in a manner that made them proud,” said Lewis. “We are close. We live 10 minutes apart, speak frequently, his dad and I go bike riding.”
More than anything, both IMPD and Lewis remind people to “strive to be no less than Moore.” The phrase, coined by then North District Captain, David Hensley more than a decade ago, is a reminder of the good he gave and continues to give to the city he loved.
“David Moore loved his community, loved to serve his community,” said Lewis. “He loved to serve, and my belief is that he’s still serving through myself.”
He added, “His heart recipient also lives here in the state of Indiana and is doing well.”
Lewis recognizes that he wouldn’t be here without the selfless decision that Lewis, like many others, made to become an organ donor.
“I wouldn’t be here without it,” he said.
Lewis, who serves as a board member with Donate Life Indiana and on the Board of Directors at TX Jet, hopes Moore’s story will encourage others to consider giving the gift of life and becoming an organ donor.
As IMPD remembered Moore on Wednesday, honoring his service at a graveside roll call for North District, it has also been a difficult week for law enforcement across the country, with several officers shot and killed, including two New York Police Department Officers.
27-year-old NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora died after being ambushed while responding to a domestic incident in Harlem on Friday. Police Commissioner Keechant Sewall thanked him for sacrificing his life to protect others and for giving the gift of life even in death, through organ donation.
“The mentality of people in law enforcement, public service, firefighters, whatever is a mentality of service. For me, organ donation is just simply another way to continue serving,” said Lewis.
Koppel reminds that a law enforcement death not only impacts the community, but also family members, extended family, and members of the departments for years to come.
Moore came from a family deep-rooted in law enforcement in the Indianapolis community.
“David had been on our middle shift and just recently got to day shift just days before and he was actually excited about that because he was also on the same letter days as his mom,” said Koppel.
Moore’s mother was a sergeant on the department and his father, a retired lieutenant. His family and fellow officers continue to honor the way that Moore gave to others, and not only on the anniversary of his passing.
Since his death, a corridor at the IMPD Training Academy has been dedicated as the Patrolman David S. Moore Hallway. On display across several areas of the department is a copy of the Honor Book, which contains narratives for every fallen officer from the Indianapolis Police Department, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Patrol Officer Moore was the first officer killed on the consolidated Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. He received the Purple Heart and Medal of Honor Posthumously.