INDIANAPOLIS — Court records claim the man who stabbed a police K-9 before being shot by IMPD officers may have been suffering from mental illness during the crime.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were dispatched around 7:54 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, to Greene’s Auto and Truck Service, located at 111 W. Raymond Street, in response to a report of a break-in.
Security cameras allegedly showed the suspect, 24-year-old Brandon Ramirez, wearing a red blanket like a cape when he used rocks to smash his way into the business on Raymond Avenue.
Once inside, IMPD officers said the suspect continued to act erratically. As a result, IMPD said K-9 Officer Ringo was led into the business.
Police said Ramirez ignored commands to surrender and then used a large knife to stab Ringo 3 times.
After police shot the 24-year-old suspect, Ramirez dropped the knife and fell to the ground but then got back up. That’s when IMPD said an officer deployed a taser and got Ramirez under control.
According to the affidavit, before the shooting Ramirez was seen on camera drinking a beer, using the phone and writing several strange notes about “the devil, the beast and the enemy.”
The suspect’s mother also told police he drove to Indianapolis from California to meet a friend he referred to as “God” whom he met on social media.
Police on the scene initially said it appeared Ramirez was on drugs, but they were later told by a friend of the suspect that he had been diagnosed with mental issues.
Despite the mental health concerns, prosecutors filed formal charges of burglary with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and striking a law enforcement animal.
“In Indiana, we want to hold people accountable, but also not be too punitive if they are mentally insane or not competent to stand trial,” said attorney Mario Massillamany.
Massillamany isn’t connected to the case, but he said questions about mental health could allow the defense to seek an evaluation of the suspect’s competency and whether he understood what he was doing was wrong.
“Most times if a person was insane at the time of the offense a defense attorney will also claim they were not competent to stand trial,” said Massillamany.
If the suspect were to be found not competent the criminal case would essentially be put on hold. If he is found to be competent, the issue of his sanity can be raised at trial.
As for Ringo, last week IMPD released video of the K-9 heading home from the emergency vet as he recovers from his injuries.
The suspect is being held on a $50,000 bond and is due in court for an initial hearing later this week.
As of Monday afternoon, jail records show the suspect remains in the hospital with his injuries and has not yet been booked into the Marion County jail.
No officers or uninvolved citizens were injured as a result of this incident.
The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team responded to the scene to conduct the criminal investigation.
A separate administrative investigation is being conducted by IMPD Internal Affairs. The officers who fired their guns have been placed on administrative leave as is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting investigation.
The civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board will conduct a mandatory hearing for any attempted use of deadly force against a person. This occurs after the conclusion of the criminal process.
The Police Officer Support Team (POST) responded to provide peer support for officers. The IMPD Chaplain’s Office responded to assist those involved.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Scott Stauffer at the homicide office by calling (317) 327-3475. Alternatively, anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (317) 262-TIPS.