INDIANAPOLIS — In seconds, a quiet Thursday afternoon turned dangerous on Routiers Avenue on the east side. Neighbors jumped for cover as gunfire was heard nearby.
“We just heard what sounded like a machine gun going off,” said one neighbor who’s home backs up to where the shooting was happening.
Neighbors all down Routiers reported hearing the shots just before 1 p.m.
“At a certain point he just laid flat against his bed because he wasn’t sure where the bullets were coming from,” said Carmele Thermidor. She was translating for her brother, Matyas Dandor, who just moved to Indianapolis from Haiti.
“It almost felt like something like a jackhammer digging into a wall. It sounded like insanely loud to him,” Thermidor said.
Jazmine Izaguirre was outside her home with her young children when she first heard the shots. She said she heard at least 30 gunshots.
“I grabbed my kids and I put them on the floor too,” said Izaguirre
Other neighbors showed us these bullet holes in their shed, just feet from where the shootout happened.
“I kind of want to move, that was really scary, that was really close,” said Izaguirre
IMPD now tells us the shots were between four IMPD officers and a 46-year-old Daniel Ghebrehiwet, who died in the shooting. It happened in an alley off 30th Street between a business and the homes along Routiers Ave.
Police said Ghebrehiwet fired at officers with an AR-15 style rifle. IMPD shared these pictures of patrol cars hit with bullets. Police returned fire as two officers were hit.
“It just kept going ‘ratatatata’ and when that finally stopped there was a bang bang bang,” said one neighbor.
Both officers have been released from the hospital. Police said their names will not be released for a few more days as an internal investigation continues.
On Thursday, IMPD Asst. Chief of Police Chris Bailey said officers were originally looking for Ghebrehiwet because of a Lawrence firearms investigation. A police report in Lawrence connects Ghebrehiwet to an aggravated assault and reckless shooting investigation on April 14 on 46th Street.
Lawrence Police Chief Gary Woodruff could not confirm if that’s the case officers were investigating. Woodruff said the investigation involving Ghebrehiwet is still active.
Ghebrehiwet is a convicted felon for older auto theft and gun charges.
Police said the passenger in the Ghebrehiwet’s vehicle was 31-year-old Darnell Harmon.
Harmon tried to run, according to police, and was also arrested for resisting law enforcement.
Izaguirre said she saw Harmon running from police.
“I saw him pass by my house and he went to the house next to us and he tried to get in her house,” Izaguirre said.
Police said Harmon is also facing an unrelated narcotics charge.
Neighbors said the violence in Indianapolis is frustrating.
”It’s just shameful to sit and look at the news and see what goes on. You don’t get mad at anyone anymore, you just haul off and shoot them. That’s the sad part.”