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IMPD releases video, details on officers shooting and killing woman

Officers shot and killed 36-year-old Jessie Leonard after they claim she pulled a gun on them Sept. 24.

INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD released a report and video on its investigation of the deadly shooting of a woman by officers on Sept. 24, 2021. It happened in the 500 block of Eugene Street on the north side of Indianapolis.

WARNING: The video contains graphic content of the shooting. It can be found here.

According to police, officers had attempted to pull over a woman driving a Honda Pilot at West 38th Street and MLK Street around 1:30 p.m. the same day for a traffic infraction. When the officer tried to stop the SUV, it took off. The officer did not chase after it.

Then, just before 2:30 p.m., officers patrolling the area came across the Honda Pilot at 556 Eugene St. The officer began taking notes on the vehicle and briefly spoke to 36-year-old Jessie Leonard, who said the car was not hers and she did not know who it belonged to. 

Credit: IMPD
IMPD body camera image of Jessie Leonard talking with an officer at a home on Eugene Street Sept. 24, 2021.

When the officer went back to talk to her, he said he saw her remove a gun from her purse and put it in her waistband. He then ended the conversation with her and went to brief other responding officers.

While officers were securing the car for it to be towed, Leonard remained on the porch of the nearby home. The officer who attempted to stop the Honda Pilot earlier arrived to see if he could identify Leonard as the person he tried to stop earlier in the day.

As officers approached to talk to Leonard, they say she told them not to get any closer. Police said she then reached for a handgun and officers warned her to stop.

Credit: IMPD
IMPD body camera video shows Jessie Leonard pulling something from her waistband as officers repeat orders for her to stop.

IMPD claims Leonard then pointed the gun at officers. IMPD said four officers then fired their weapons, hitting Leonard. Those officers were identified as:

  • Keith Shelton, a seven-year veteran
  • Joshua Smith, a three-year veteran
  • Joseph Reynolds, a two-year veteran
  • Dylan Sheets, a two-year veteran
Credit: IMPD
IMPD body camera video shows Jessie Leonard point something at officers.

RELATED: IMPD identifies officers who shot, killed woman on north side

An IMPD spokesperson said the officers then tried to render aid to Leonard, but she died. All four officers were wearing body cameras.

IMPD released an image of a gun found on the porch they claim Leonard pulled on them.

Credit: IMPD
The gun found on the porch of 556 Eugene St. that IMPD claims Jessie Leonard pulled on them.

The incident is being investigated by IMPD's Critical Incident Response Team, IMPD Internal Affairs and will be reviewed by the Civilian-Majority Use of Force Review Board.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office is also being consulted throughout the investigation.

RELATED: Woman shot and killed by IMPD officers on north side identified

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