Indianapolis, IN — Indianapolis Metropolitan police responded to a 9-1-1 call about an armed robbery early Tuesday morning. When IMPD officers showed up, however, they shot the first person they saw — the innocent homeowner.
In only a matter of minutes, a woman went from being in shock after being robbed at gunpoint, to praying that her husband survives the holes put in him by police bullets.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, IMPD Assistant Chief Randal Taylor said the department received a 9-1-1 call from the couple around 4:30 a.m. after a young man confronted her in the driveway. The woman, who was getting home from work, said the man held a gun to her head and demanded her car keys.
Naturally, choosing life over car keys, the woman complied. She quickly ran inside to her husband at which point they called police.
According to Taylor, after they called 9-1-1, the woman’s husband, who has been identified as 48-year-old Carl Williams, went outside the home with a gun. When police arrived, they mistook Williams for the robbery suspect and shot him. He was seriously injured and is in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
Tuesday afternoon, the IMPD released the following statement:
Two responding officers arrived at the house shortly after the homeowner had disconnected with 911 and observed the black vehicle sitting in the driveway. Officers sought cover in an attempt to approach in a covert manner to investigate the vehicle. Moments later the homeowner, who was armed, is shot by a veteran police officer of 9-years. The second involved officer did not fire his weapon and is an 8-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The homeowner was shot one time in the stomach and was transported by EMS personnel to IU Health Methodist Hospital in serious condition.
When asked if the officer even spoke to the man before firing, the chief was unable to answer.
“Obviously, the homeowner had a weapon out, but I’m not sure what conversations would have occurred, if any, between the officer and the homeowner,” said Taylor.
It’s unclear how far away police were from the homeowner when he was shot, or whether he had his gun pointed at officers when he emerged from the garage, IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams told IndyStar.
According to the IMPD:
The involved officer has been placed on Administrative Leave (standard procedure) and will receive the proper coping services after a traumatic event. As with any officer-involved shooting, both a criminal and separate independent internal investigations will commence to include a review by the Firearms Review Board and Grand Jury.
What is clear is that the homeowner never fired his weapon, was merely attempting to protect his wife, and for this — he was shot.
“I think that’s really crazy. What do we have, trigger-happy police officers out here now?” said Angela Parrott, who has lived in the area for about a year, as reported by the IndyStar.
Angela Parrott is concerned about the police shooting in her neighborhood pic.twitter.com/IjO4M0rAdA
— Vic Ryckaert (@VicRyc) August 23, 2016
As for the suspected robber, he is still at large. He is described as a young black male, wearing a red jacket and a dark baseball cap.
During the press conference on Tuesday, a reporter asked about the possibility of surveillance footage on the couple’s home that could have caught the shooting on video. Taylor responded by claiming they were unaware of such footage.
However, when looking at a photo of the front of their home, we can see what appears to be a surveillance camera directly above where the shooting took place.
Crime lab dusting for fingerprints pic.twitter.com/Z0nZOPLcp9
— Vic Ryckaert (@VicRyc) August 23, 2016
At a press conference on Tuesday, police released the recording of the 9-1-1 call. During the press conference, IMPD Maj. Richard Riddle explained, “Our homeowner, the individual who was trying his best protect himself and his wife from any other harm, was shot mistakenly by our officers. This incident occurred within a few seconds, and those judgment calls are made within a few split seconds.
“She was victimized, and unfortunately now, her husband was victimized as well.”
During the press conference, you can hear Williams writhing in pain over the police radio after he was shot.
— IMPD (@IMPDnews) August 23, 2016
This case highlights the dangers involved with dialing 9-1-1.
Calling 9-1-1 for help and then being victimized or killed by police happens far too often. Last year, we reported on the story of Kevin Davis, who called 9-1-1 to report that his girlfriend had been stabbed. When cops got to his apartment, they killed him.
Before that, a mother of two called the police to report two intruders in her home. When cops showed up they shot and killed her.
In November, a man called 9-1-1 to report a wanted gunman. When police showed up they shot the man who called them instead of the gunman.
Sadly, more often than not, this is what happens when you call the cops.