Friends, colleagues remember life of slain IMPD officer
The influence of an IMPD officer killed by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide went far beyond the police department.
Neighbors and those who worked with Ofc. Kimberlee Carmack are still trying to understand what happened in her home Thursday night.
"We are a pretty tight cul-de-sac, so word spread pretty fast," said Josh Kay.
Kay looks across the street at Carmack's home and remembers happier times.
"We would go out and walk our dogs and talk at night," he said. "She was a good neighbor. We liked her a lot. We knew she had gone through the divorce, but my wife and I didn't know there was more to it than this."
Neighbors hugged Thursday night as they tried to make sense of her death. Carmack was shot and killed by her ex-husband, IMPD Sgt. Ryan Anders, after he broke into her home.
Carmack's friends left flowers on her doorstep Friday, devastated to think of how a woman who put her life on the line every day as a police officer, lost her life in her own home, to a man with the same calling.
"It's unbelievable. It's so hard to think. It's just hard," said Carmack's friend Teri Veatch, who left flowers at Carmack's house, quietly sobbing on her front doorstep.
Veatch called Carmack a wonderful police officer and friend.
"She was an outgoing, caring, giving, loving mother and grandmother, sister. Anything you can imagine. She was my best friend in the whole wide world," said Veatch.
"You don't want to see it happen anyplace, let alone across the street," said neighbor Brian Swihart.
Swihart, along with Carmack's other neighbors, are facing the reality that domestic violence can happen anywhere, even in a nice, quiet cul-de-sac in suburban Indianapolis.
"When 20 police cars are down your street, it's not a good sign," said Swihart speaking of the scene he came home to Thursday night.
Before Thursday, Swihart said he never saw anything that would indicate Carmack or her ex-husband, IMPD Sgt. Ryan Anders, lives would end like they did, except a brief conversation with Carmack in January, where she told him that she and Anders had divorced.
"She had told me that he had been giving her trouble," said Swihart. "That he was stalking her and make phone calls, you know. So that's really all she said about it, other than it was just messy."
That conversation a few months ago was the first thing Swihart thought about when he turned into his neighborhood and saw police.
"Where I saw they were directed towards Kim's house and what she had told me during the winter, I figured it wasn't good," he said.
A day later, the police tape is gone and so are the police cars. Only flowers remain, marking a tragedy few in the west side neighborhood could have predicted.
Those who worked with Carmack in her more than two decades as an IMPD officer were taking the news hard, as well.
"I cried. Tears came to my eyes," said Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams. "There is no answer for this loss. You just have to grieve and hurt. Lots of people are affected by this."
Williams remembers the countless hours Carmack volunteered at the Christamore House. He says she constantly took time out of her day to get involved in the community she served.
"She helped start a soap box derby, she was one of the mechanics and anytime we had an event for the seniors or for the community, she was always there, serving hot dogs, serving potato chips, just a nice person," he said.
On the clock, those that knew Carmack said she did more than just her job.
"She helped with the prostitution problem," Williams said.
"She became the face, frankly of community policing on the west side," said Tim Horty, Carmack's former supervisor. "She could work a uniform position and she could work undercover and she work those neighborhoods out there on the west side."
It's that spirit and attitude they say they'll miss most of all.
"She did things with great compassion and loved the people that she worked with and for," Horty said. "As a commander, if you would have had 10 of her, it would have been a whole lot easier of a place to run and supervise."