IMPD officer killed after shootout on Indianapolis northeast side
The Indianapolis Metro Police Department is mourning the loss of an officer for the second time within the last year.
Officer Perry Renn, a 22-year veteran who served on IMPD's North District, died after a shootout with a suspect. That suspect, 25-year-old Major Davis., Jr., remains in critical condition.
Police say Officer Renn, 52, was called to a scene where gunfire was reported at 34th and Forest Manor Avenue around 9:30 pm Saturday night. Shortly afterward, Renn and Davis began shooting at each other in a nearby alley.
Both were injured and taken to Eskenazi Hospital. A line of police cars cleared a path down the interstate for the ambulance rushing Officer Renn to the emergency room. More than 100 officers responded and went to the scene or waited at the hospital after hearing about the shooting. Support and hope gave way to grief and anger when, at around 11:20 pm, IMPD Police Chief Rick Hite broke the news, announcing over the police radio that Renn had died from his injuries.
Multiple rounds from a high-powered rifle penetrated Officer Renn's vest, gravely wounding him. Davis was initially pronounced dead but he was revived. He remains in critical condition.
At a news conference held around midnight, city leaders expressed their anger over the escalating violence in Indianapolis, and the danger it poses to the entire community.
Mayor Greg Ballard felt it.
"There are a lot of sad people tonight. But I would also tell you emotion out there is anger. People are really tired of of the things that have been happening out there," said the mayor.
"It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the two Indiana police officers killed in the line of duty in the last 24 hours," Gov. Mike Pence added Sunday in a statement. "The deaths of Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Perry Renn and Gary Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Brady Westerfield follow last week's death of Tipton County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Calvin, whose funeral will be held Monday. On behalf of the First Lady and Hoosiers everywhere, I extend our deepest condolences and prayers to those who knew these officers as family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors."
On the east side Saturday night, Renn and other officers were caught in a shootout with a man armed with a high-powered weapon.
Saturday morning, police responded to seven people shot in Broad Ripple. Officers provided first aid to victims as they hunted a suspect.
"That's the work we do as a police department. That is what you pay us to do. Tonight we are here because we lost one. He won't be able to apply a bandage or a tourniquet. He won't be at the next scene. The question becomes what are you going to do about?" said Chief Hite.
It's not known whether Major Davis, Jr. was licensed to carry a gun. He did have a long criminal history. Authorities want stricter mandatory minimum prison sentences for those illegally possessing guns and using them to commit crimes.
"We think that is important we think that would immediately drop our homicide rate. Let's remember tonight - a police officer was murdered," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.
Mayor Ballard clearly wants changes.
"You think it is frustrating to me? How frustrating is it to the guys wearing the uniform? It's frustrating to them. It's terrible," said the mayor.
In that same press conference, Troy Riggs said, "Yes, an officer was attacked tonight, but the city of Indianapolis was attacked tonight....This is the 8th police officer who has been shot in a year and a half. We have 22 others we believe have had shots fired upon them."
Director Riggs said that 60 percent of shooting victims in Indianapolis refuse to cooperate with police, which is frustrating for officers who lay their lives on the line. Riggs reiterated his push for mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving firearms.
Chief Hite asked what we as a community would do to solve the problem of rising violence in Indianapolis.
"We owe it to his family to honor him tonight, but we all have to roll up our sleeves to send a message to those who wreak havoc and violence," said Chief Hite.
A doctor from Eskenazi Health, where Renn was treated, called gun violence a major public health problem that needs to be addressed from its root causes.
"This is an affront to us and the citizens of Indianapolis when someone as brave as Ofc. Renn loses his life doing his job," said Dr. T.Z. Hayward. "It hurts."
As of 12:15 Sunday afternoon, Davis was listed in critical but stable condition.
IMPD Officer Perry Renn was appointed to the Indianapolis Police Department on December 27, 1993. Officer Renn worked as a street patrol officer his entire career serving the East and North Districts.
Officer Renn was awarded the Medal of Bravery in 2003 and received a Letter of Commendation in 2012 for his efforts during the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse. He has also received several letters of appreciation from his supervisors.