INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was shot during an exchange of gunfire while executing a narcotics warrant on the city’s near east side.
The shooting occurred near the intersection of Harlan Street and Spann Avenue around 1:40 p.m. One suspect opened fire as the warrant was being served, striking the SWAT officer in the forearm. Officers returned fire and hit the suspect.
The suspect, later identified as 39-year-old Christopher Johnson, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The involved officer, Arthur Sibley, a 11-year veteran of the IMPD, was released from the hospital but will have follow up appointments to ensure proper healing.
Johnson was arrested for the following charges; attempted murder,serious violent felon-in-possession of a firearm and dealing and possession of narcotics. He remains in critical but stable condition.
In addition to Ofc. Sibley returning fire, Lt. Stradling, Ofc. Muller, Ofc. Rabensteine and Sgt. Rand returned fire as well, striking Johnson multiple times.
IMPD said 34-year-old Jesse Hamler, 20-year-old Jasmine Miller, one 16-year-old female and one 14-year old male juvenile were in the residence at the time of the shooting. None were injured during the incident.
“You have a bad actor firing at officers,” said IMPD Sgt. Christopher Wilburn. “And these officers were forced to protect themselves and the general public by not having this bad actor out here.”
Police say tactical officers were on hand to serve the warrant because the nature of the investigation.
“There was a valid search warrant here,” Wilburn said. “And these officers were here trying to protect this community. And this is the result of a bad actor pretending to be a hero.”
IMPD dispatched their SWAT team to help serve a warrant after learning that Johnson was likely armed and dangerous. When the entry team breached the door, IMPD said Johnson fired multiple rounds at the officers.
After securing the scene, authorities recovered four firearms, large amounts of suspected narcotics and US currency.
Two juveniles were charged with visiting a common nuisance.
“This incident serves as a stark reminder of the violence often directed toward law enforcement officers. We stand with our community with disappointment and frustration of those who choose violence over compliance and are working hard together to change that mindset.” Stated Chief Bryan Roach, “We are grateful our officers involved are safe and going home tonight and we will address the trauma caused by this incident internally. We hope those close to the accused receive the appropriate assistance with any trauma he may have caused them.”
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Critical Incident Review Team is conducting a criminal investigation, standard for an officer-involved shooting, and a separate administrative review is being conducted by the Internal Affairs Unit to ensure compliance with departmental policy, guidelines, and training.
The involved officers will be placed on Administrative Leave to ensure they receive coping services, and will be available to criminal and administrative investigators.
Police urge witnesses to call the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475
#IMPDNOW: IMPD Officer shot as a result of this officer involved shooting on Spann Ave. Officer is in good condition. Ongoing investigation. PIO on-scene will provide additional when available. #Breaking
— IMPD (@IMPDnews) December 13, 2017
Just got an update from @IMPDnews on shooting at Harlan and Spann: Tactical officers were serving a narcotics warrant at a house, one person open fire, hitting an officer in the forearm. Officer stable, shooter in critical condition after being shot by responding officers.
— Trevor Shirley (@Trevor_Reports) December 13, 2017