An Indianapolis police officer accidentally shot an armed homeowner after the man’s wife was approached by a carjacker in the couple’s driveway.
The homeowner is expected to survive, said the Indianapolis Star. The newspaper said the shooting occurred at 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 23.
Police said the incident was “very tragic” and occurred within “a few seconds,” according to a press conference (see video of the press conference above.) “These two individuals came together at the worst possible time,” said the police, of the homeowner and the officer. “We are very apologetic about that.”
Of legal gun owners, police said in the news conference: “We obviously would caution them” about introducing another gun “into a potentially armed situation. The last thing we want to do is confront” the legal owner of a gun in their home, said police.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say the Shot Man Called 911 to Report an Armed Robbery of His Wife
CBS Chicago says the man who was shot had called police to say his wife was robbed by a gunman in her driveway.
A police news release has now identified the homeowner who was shot as Carl Williams, 48, and the officer as Christopher Mills.
“This was an accident. This occurred. We are trying to make this right,” police said in the news conference. They said they did not know yet what was said between the officer and the homeowner. The officer is on administrative leave, police said in the news conference.
According to an Indianapolis Metropolitan police news release, “A frantic caller, later determined to be the homeowner, told a 9-1-1 operator that a suspect had tried to assault and rob his wife with a gun described by the caller as a long gun. The caller went on to tell dispatchers that the suspect had stolen his wife’s black vehicle.”
2. The Homeowner Emerged From a Garage With a Gun, Police Say
When police responded to the 911 call, “the garage door opened and the homeowner came out with a gun,” said The Indianapolis Star.
At that point, the officer shot the homeowner, said police.
Police said in a news conference that circumstances “collided at once that turned into a tragic, accidental shooting of the homeowner. We are not hiding behind that.”
Police said the officer arrived thinking the “armed suspect might still be there…it’s very unfortunate the officer shot a homeowner.”
In the press release, the police said, “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.”
3. The Homeowner Was Shot Once & Is Expected to Live, Police Say
“The homeowner was shot at least once in the mid-section,” said The Indianapolis Star.
He was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in serious condition, police said.
The homeowner was in serious condition at an area hospital on Aug. 23, said Raw Story.
Police said in the news conference that the officer realized what was going on, and how serious the situation was, and tried to get medical attention to the homeowner.
The news release said, “The victim is expected to survive his injuries. Investigators did recover a firearm from the scene believed to be the homeowner’s.”
4. The Carjacker Couldn’t Start the Woman’s Car, Reports Say
Raw Story says the carjacker tried to take the woman’s car but couldn’t get it started and fled on foot.
Police said the news media should also concentrate on the fact there is still an armed robber at large. Police said they don’t believe the carjacker obtained any property and that there were other incidents in the area previously. They said they believed there was only one suspect in the Aug. 23 morning incident.
The police news release said the robbery suspect was described as a black male, light complexion, wearing a red and white jacket and a dark colored ball cap. People with information were asked to call Crime Stoppers of Indiana at (317) 262.8477 or TIPS.
5. Police Said They Only Received ‘Sketchy’ Information From the 911 Caller
The police news release describes, “Dispatchers sent officers to the location on a robbery of a person armed with a long gun and driving the victim’s black vehicle. Before officers arrived the homeowner had disconnected with 9-1-1 dispatchers, but before disconnecting the homeowner yells, ‘is that him’ thinking the suspect was still outside.”
Police said in the news conference that, when the officer arrived, he saw the vehicle still there although he’d been told the robber was gone.
“The officer approaches the house and takes a position of concealment to try to run that license plate,” said police in the news conference. “The garage door opened; the homeowner came out.”