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IMPD identifies officers involved in West 34th Street shooting

Both officers are 4-year veterans of the force and were off-duty at the time of the incident.
Credit: Joe Fenton/WTHR
IMPD investigates an officer-involved shooting on West 34th Street Saturday morning, Nov. 14, 2020.

INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD is identifying the officers involved in a Nov. 13 shooting on West 34th Street. 

The officers are Keith Ortega and Roberto Sanchez, both 4-year IMPD veterans. 

A check of the officers' personnel files by 13News shows no disciplinary action.

Police said at the time that the man who was shot was in stable condition and expected to survive. The officers were not injured.

A department spokesperson at the scene said the two officers were in the area and alerted to a disturbance at the El Chila Sports Bar parking lot just after 2 a.m. Officers encountered an armed individual who refused to drop his weapon and fired shots at him.

Police recovered a gun at the scene.

After the man was shot, officers chased him down and rendered first aid before medics took him to Eskenazi Hospital.

Investigators have determined the officers were working off-duty before the shooting occurred.

Timeline of shooting

  • On Nov. 13, 2020 at approximately 10 p.m., two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) police officers marked on to work off-duty employment at El Chila Sports Bar, 6380 W. 34th St.
  • At approximately 2 a.m., the officers were alerted by security guards that a disturbance was occurring outside near the entrance of the bar involving multiple people.
  • As the officers approached the crowd they observed a Latino male (Person #1) standing by a vehicle in the parking lot. Person #1 had a gun and allegedly pointed the gun toward the crowd.
  • Officers gave verbal commands for person #1 to drop the weapon. When person #1 failed to comply both officers fired their duty weapons striking him. Person #1 then ran from the scene toward High School Road.
  • After a short foot pursuit, officers apprehended Person #1 near the intersection of 35th Street and North High School Road and began rendering medical aid.
  • IEMS arrived and transported Person #1 to Eskenazi Hospital. Person #1 is currently listed in stable condition and expected to survive injuries.
  • The firearm believed to belong to Person #1 was recovered in the parking lot near where the officers encountered him. 
  • The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team responded to the scene to conduct the criminal investigation. A separate internal affairs investigation is also being conducted.
  • The officers who fired their weapons, both Latino males, are on administrative leave as is standard procedure in these incidents.
  • Person #1 was arrested and preliminarily charged with two counts of pointing a firearm (F6) and possession of a handgun without a license (MA).The final charging decision will be up to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
  • One of the officers had a body-worn camera on and operational. The second officer was not wearing a camera due to his normal duty assignment as a detective. Detectives are canvassing the area for witnesses.

Protocol requires IMPD's Critical Incident Team and Internal Affairs and administrative teams investigate whenever an officer discharges a gun.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office is also involved in the investigative process, which may involve a grand jury with civilian oversight. 

An IMPD Firearms Review Board will determine whether the use of force was reasonable.

Anyone with information about the incident should call IMPD at (317) 327.3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262.8477 or (TIPS).