Carjacking chase ends in fatal accident, bystander killed

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Three people are in police custody and an innocent bystander is dead after a carjacking Sunday morning along 16th Street and East Riverside Drive.

It all started with a report of a stolen car in the 3500 block of N. Dukane Way around 9:20 a.m. Sunday.

Moments before the crash, investigators say three men stole a dark Toyota Camry several blocks away. The men are accused of pointing a gun, demanding the car, and then speeding away down 16th Street.

With a search put out for the car, an officer at Eskenazi Health noticed it, and chased the car only a few blocks before the driver crashed into a dark Honda Accord. The Eskenazi officer is a Marion County Sheriff's deputy with full police powers.

"It's messed up. A life lost. An innocent life lost," said witness Christopher Smith.

That's how police also describe the 79-year-old man driving the Honda. They say the man, later identified as George Porter, couldn't avoid being T-boned by the driver of the stolen Toyota.

"I heard what sounded like a car trying to hit its brakes but he couldn't stop like he was skidding and I heard a loud crash," Smith said.

Smith had been riding his bicycle on his way to see a friend. He says he is actually glad he got a flat tire which delayed his trip and possibly avoided putting him in harm’s way.

"I had no idea that I would come around the corner to see all of this," Smith said.

Amid the twisted and mangled metal, the driver of the stolen Camry ran away.

Only Eyewitness News was there moments after police caught him. An IMPD canine chased him and bit him as officers moved in and surrounded him.

Police put handcuffs on his ankles to make sure he wouldn't get away.

The bite caused him to bleed under his shoulder. Paramedics had to treat the injury and wrap his shoulder area. From there, he went to the hospital to be checked out and is then expected to head to jail.

Police also took two other men, ages 19 and 20, into custody. Investigators believe the two took part in the carjacking and were inside the stolen car at the time of the deadly crash.

"They killed this guy. An innocent life lost. A 79-year-old male," Smith said.

Metro police say their hearts go out to Porter's family, but say it's important for everyone to know that officers won't stop until they get violent criminals, like the ones caught Sunday, off the street.

Officers found a handgun at the scene and will process it as evidence.

The age of the driver of the stolen car wasn't immediately known. The name of all three suspects have not yet been released.