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Police identify man shot and killed by IMPD officers at east side gas station

Police said no officers were injured in the incident near 21st Street and Ritter Avenue.

INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD detectives shot and killed a man Wednesday at an east side gas station on the corner of East 21st Street and Ritter Avenue.

The man killed was identified Thursday as 33-year-old James Williams. IMPD said Williams was wanted on a felony warrant from the Indiana Department of Corrections for escape and weapons offenses. They also claim Williams was a suspect in a recent homicide investigation.

The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team and Internal Affairs are both conducting independent investigations into exactly what led to the gunfire inside the Marathon station.

"Detectives observed the individual armed with a handgun. The detectives encountered the individual outside the business here. The individual ran from detectives inside the business," IMPD Lt. Shane Foley said. "The detectives followed, and during the incident, an officer-involved shooting occurred."

Credit: WTHR

On Thursday, after reviewing surveillance video, IMPD released an updated account of the events leading to the shooting. In it, they claim detectives were wearing vests with the word "POLICE" on both the front and back. 

IMPD said when detectives approached Williams as he came outside the gas station, he went back into the business and detectives followed him inside. While one detective talked with Williams, the other got customers to move outside.

The police release said Williams was then asked to show his hands. IMPD claims Williams pulled a gun from his shorts, raised the gun, and pointed it at the detectives. IMPD said that is when detectives fired their guns, hitting and killing Williams. Responding officers and a SWAT medic are said to have provided medical aid to Williams until an ambulance arrived and medics pronounced Williams dead.

No officers or other people inside the gas station were injured in the deadly shooting.

Credit: IMPD
Detectives recovered the handgun the suspect had in his possession at the scene.

The detectives involved in the shooting don't wear body cameras since they aren't patrol officers. IMPD is working to collect any surveillance video or witness accounts that could help in the investigation.

"We want to make sure we do this right. The community expects us to be transparent. We expect our agency to be transparent and that's exactly what we're going to do," Foley said.

People who witnessed the shooting are asked to call IMPD detectives at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.

The detectives involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave, which is department policy. 

The community near the shooting scene Wednesday is demanding more answers.

Tatiana Smith's mom lives nearby. She got the alert on her phone about the shooting and since she's studying to become a forensic psychologist in college, she walked over to see what was happening.

She said she watched a crowd near the gas station, including family of the man killed, get tense and frustrated.

"You can obviously tell there's division between family in the area and cops themselves, like was there something else they could have done?" Smith said. "It's pretty intense. It's pretty heated. There were a lot of questions circulating."

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