Officer shooting suspect in custody - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Officer shooting suspect in custody

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An officer takes Thomas Hardy into custody Sunday evening. An officer takes Thomas Hardy into custody Sunday evening.
IMPD Officer David Moore IMPD Officer David Moore
Police are searching for Thomas Hardy for questioning. Police are searching for Thomas Hardy for questioning.

Indianapolis - The man wanted for questioning in connection with the shooting of an IMPD officer has been taken into custody.

Police apprehended Thomas Hardy, 60, on Indianapolis Avenue just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Police had been searching for Hardy to question him about the shooting of IMPD officer David Moore during a traffic stop Sunday morning.

"We did call our tactical units and did take Mr. Hardy into custody without any incident," IMPD Officer Kendale Adams said. "The community was very productive in leading to possible leads that led us to Mr. Hardy."

Hardy didn't put up any resistance during his arrest. Police say other evidence places him at a robbery at the Dollar General store at 1801 S. Emerson Avenue 45 minutes after the shooting of Officer Moore.

"He is under arrest for that robbery and being a habitual violator," IMPD Chief Paul Ciesielski said.

The chief said investigators believe Hardy is the only person responsible for the officer's shooting. He also credited officers who assisted in the investigation after the shooting occurred.

"We are sending a statement that you cannot shoot an IMPD police officer and think that you're going to get away with it, or think you're going to walk free again," he said.

Officer Moore, 29, joined IMPD in 2004 and serves on the department's North District. According to IMPD officials, he was shot twice in the face. Doctors say that the next 24-48 hours will be critical to his recovery.

"We expect that within the next 12 to 24 hours, we will have an idea as to what will happen with David. I think if you ever met David, you'd find him to be a fine man and a good person," said Moore's father, Spencer at a press conference Sunday evening.

Spencer Moore, a former IMPD officer, said his son had not responded to neurological tests, calling his son's condition "fragile" and saying that doctors remain guarded about the officer's situation.

Police say Officer Moore was making a traffic stop in the 3400 block of North Temple Avenue when he was shot at 9:00 am Sunday morning.

"He exited the car and, what we believe is the driver or drivers exited and shot him on the scene," said Chief Ciesielski.

"I heard 'pop, pop, pop,' then I'm like, 'Okay,' and then I heard 'pop, pop'," said witness Preston Richardson.

Richardson was taking out the trash when he saw the officer pull over a gold 1998 Toyota Camry, but right when he got back inside, he heard gunfire.

"I heard, first, rounds of four, then I heard a dead space, which was no sound, and then I heard three more rounds," Richardson said.

"I was worried because it was close and I knew it was close, but I didn't realize anything until I opened the door," said Shirley Pinner.

After a shootout, police say Hardy struck another vehicle fleeing the scene. Officer Moore, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, was not able to call for help.

"We found out when a citizen called 911, saying an officer was on the ground, bleeding," said Chief Ciesielski.

Officer Moore was transported to Wishard Hospital with gunshot wounds to his head. He is listed in critical condition.

Moore's father said traffic stops are among the most dangerous situations officers deal with, behind domestic disturbances.

"You never know who you're going to stop. That is what happened here," he said. "As one officer put it to me, they basically ambushed David."

The suspect's car, which had previously been reported stolen, was later found in a parking garage at 61 West Washington Street downtown.

Officers immediately checked other cars fitting the same description as the gold Camry involved in the stop. Downtown, officers used their smartphones to show restaurant employees Hardy's picture, warning them to call 911 if he showed up.

"We will not rest until we bring this person responsible into the police department," Ciesielski said.

Dozens of officers searched the area for the suspect. At the scene, detectives and crime lab technicians gathered evidence, including Officer Moore's squad car and spoke with witnesses.

"We will do everything in our power. We will locate this individual," said IMPD Sgt. Linda Jackson.

Believing Hardy may try to flee the city, officers stopped and inspected buses.

"There is a bathroom on the bus and the door is shut and they can't get it opened," said Jeff Sellers, an eyewitness to the search.

Sellers says he was ushered off a bus headed to Chicago as police searched for Hardy.

"I hear all the sirens and the bus driver pulls over and he gets off and I can see all the rifles come up alongside of me and then they say 'Put your hands up!'," he said.

SWAT officers searched the bus for Hardy, checking the restroom, but finding it empty.

Residents near the scene say their neighborhood is pretty low key, with long-time residents and a location close to police district headquarters.

"It's not unusual to hear someone get pulled over, but it's unusual to hear someone get pulled over and shots fired at the same time," Richardson said.

They say it's a safe place, thanks to the hard work of officers like David Moore.

"This officer is a very proactive officer, actively takes care of his beat, his district," Sgt. Jackson said.

"I hope he recovers and I hope they catch whoever done it," Pinner said.

Officer was well-respected

Spencer Moore said his son was well-respected within the department and had received several medals and awards.

"I think what made him proudest is that he was doing what mom and dad did. But I'll tell you this, he's ten times the police officer I was," Moore said.

Officer Moore's mother, who also worked as a police officer, had left on a cruise vacation Sunday morning. Her husband credited city and police officials of bringing her back to Indianapolis quickly.

Involved in 2008 shooting

Officer Moore was involved in a police-action shooting in November 2008.

Responding to reports of gunfire at a home on North Goodlet Avenue, a suspect pointed a gun at Moore. When he wouldn't put the gun down, Moore, fearing for his safety, shot and killed the man.

Father involved in 2006 crash

This isn't the first dangerous situation to put the Moore family in the spotlight.

In 2006, Spencer Moore was injured in a police charity bike ride, where other officers were killed. Spencer Moore spoke days after the crash at an event to honor those officers.

"We are visited by angels occasionally. Two of them went home last week," he said at the time.

That accident happened in Vermillion County when a box truck hit a support truck for the officers cycling for a charity. Indiana State Police Lt. Gary Dudley and retired Lake County Chief Gary Martin were killed.

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