IMPD officer released from Wishard after east Indianapolis shooting
For the second time in four days, an Indianapolis Metro Police officer was shot.
IMPD officer Greg Stevens was released from Wishard Hospital Tuesday morning after being wounded in a shootout with a suspect on the east side of Indianapolis early Tuesday.
"I can't wait to return to full duty status to get back out on the streets with my fellow officers," Stevens said in a statement released by IMPD.
Stevens served three tours of duty in Iraq as a United States Marine before joining IMPD four years ago.
Officer Stevens was responding to a call of two men shooting at each other. It happened Monday night on the east side at the Greenway Apartment complex near 21st and Ritter.
"I heard multiple shots fired and then I came out and then I heard maybe three or four loud shots fired," said Keyia Thruston, who lives a few blocks from the scene. "We just had this. This world is...we need to pray. I hope and pray that the families of both officer and suspects, just everybody pray for them and just pray."
Police say a suspect with a gun refused two officers' orders to drop the weapon. The suspect and police fired on each other. The 22-year-old suspect, Charles Williams of Gary, was hit. Officer Greg Stevens was shot in the leg and rushed to the hospital.
Dozens of officers converged on Wishard to get news about their injured colleague. Soon it became clear, the "through and through" injury was relatively minor. The bullet did not hit any arteries. He was released a few hours later.
"He's one of those conscientious officers that said, you know 'I'm doing my job; I did my job, I was out there doing what the public had asked me to do.' At the same time he's ready to get back out there," said IMPD Chief Rick Hite.
This is the second time a Metro Police officer has been shot in four days. On Friday, Officer Rod Bradway was killed after a convicted felon opened fire on him during a domestic dispute.
"The good guys are going to win this one. It's a constant battle. It's not unknown in cities across the country, we're doing better than most - quite a few cities are going through this. Our police have adjusted pretty well to it to what's going on out there. But to have incidents almost back to back it's a little shocking frankly and a little heartbreaking to be honest with you," said Chief Hite.
It's a heartbreaking reality that no one wants to grow accustomed to.
Meanwhile, Williams, who was shot an unknown number of times, is listed in fair condition at Wishard. Police say it is unclear if Williams was injured in the shootout with the officers or during the initial incident. Ballistics will help determine the origin of the bullets that wounded Williams.
Police say they do not know the whereabouts of the second person reportedly engaged in the initial shooting. Police will attempt to interview Williams in the hospital about what started the incident.
Upon his release from the emergency room, Williams will face a preliminary charge of attempted murder and carrying a handgun without a license. He is expected to remain in Wishard for an unknown amount of time before he is formally booked at the Arrestee Processing Center.
The shooting comes just five days after IMPD Officer Rod Bradway was shot and killed while responding to a report of a disturbance on the northwest side of the city.
"It twists the knife a little bit more in this police department's back. It's tough," said IMPD Lt. Christopher Bailey of the timing of the shooting. "Just pray for our officer, for a quick recovery, and for our police department, that we don't have anymore incidents like this, at least for awhile."
Mayor Greg Ballard came to Wishard to visit the officer and his family. His statement: "The good guys are going to win this one. It's a constant battle. It's not unknown in cities across the country. We're doing better than most—quite a few cities are going through this. Our police have adjusted pretty well to it...to what's going on out there. But to have incidents almost back-to-back it a little shocking, frankly, and a little heartbreaking, to be honest with you."
IMPD Chief Rick Hite described the wounded officer. "He's one of those conscientious officers that said, you know ‘I'm doing my job—I did my job, I was out there doing what the public had asked me to do,' said Hite. "At the same time, he's ready to get back out there. He's ready to get back out there."
"The good guy is doing well," said Troy Riggs, Pub Safety Director. "The bad guy is going to be going to jail later. That's the good thing. Second time in less than a week we've had an officer shot. It shows the difficulty of the job that they do day-in-and-day-out. We're very proud of our officers, but I can tell you as the chief reiterated, look of determination, I've talked to a lot of officers. They say they're ready to go out there and continue to do their work."
Thruston said the violence took her and neighbors by surprise.
"I've never seen it like this and I've been here four years," said the witness. "It needs to stop, it's just sad."
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Branch at 317.327.3482.
Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of Indiana at 317.262.TIPS (8477).
Those with information can also text "INDYCS" plus tip information to 274627(CRIMES).