Off-duty officer shoots at suspects outside Indianapolis church

| November 24, 2009

CASTLETON, IN – It happened outside Castleton Christian Church just before 10:30 a.m.

The only weapon witnesses saw was a crowbar used to break into a van, but when an off-duty detective at the church came outside and tried to stop the suspects, he said they swerved toward him. That's when he decided to open fire.

"It was scary," said Kim Reeves, who made the 911 call.

After her call, Reeves' husband called on detective James Carver for help.

"I just didn't want to get anybody in harm's way," Donald Reeves said. "And just have him look at the situation and see what would be best to do."

What Carver decided to do was confront the suspects and identify himself as an officer. Instead, they allegedly ignored his command to get on the ground. Witnesses said the suspects opted to jump in the car, rev the engine and swerve at him.

"He wasn't absolutely sure if the vehicle was fleeing or attempting to run him over," said IMPD Sergeant Paul Thompson. "But (he) found himself in a situation where he felt his only option was to discharge his weapon in self defense."

"He had his gun drawn and they tried to run over him," said Tyler Johnson, who witnessed the confrontation. "And he side-stepped the car and shot five shots at it. And then they went straight and he tried to cut it off again and then they tried to run over him again."

Witnesses at the scene said the car involved was a white four-door Chrysler with chrome wheels and dark-tinted windows. They said it fled south on Hague Road.

"I don't think he hit anybody that I know of," Kim Reeves said. "But they didn't stop. They just kept going."

Kim said it's shocking anyone would strike during a church service, especially since they didn't take much more than a GPS system.

"I mean they said there wasn't anything that they grabbed — wasn't anything that was valuable or anything," Kim Reeves said. "So really it was not worth what they did. It was kind of sad."

Donald Reeves said it's also hard to know whether it was worth opening fire.

"The fact that they drove at him when he was asking them to stop," Donald Reeves said. "You know, I wasn't the one who the car was driving at. It's just difficult to say."

The driver is described as a Hispanic male, possibly 18 years old. He's 5'9" and 190 pounds. He has dark hair and a mustache. He was last seen wearing a dark leather jacket and dark pants.

One of the passengers is also described as a Hispanic male. He's 5'8" and 170 pounds. He was also wearing dark clothing.

Witnesses did not have a description for the third suspect.

Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 262-TIPS.

This was the second incident of the weekend where an officer fired shots at a suspect. The first involved a 14-year old who fled state police after a traffic stop on I-465 and Rockville Road Saturday.

ISP officials say that teenager got out of his car and started fighting with the trooper. The trooper fired thinking the suspect had returned to his car to get a gun.

He was arrested after a brief chase.,0,1441981.story

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Category: Church Security

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