INDIANAPOLIS — One man is dead after being shot by an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department during a traffic stop on the near northeast side of Indianapolis.
Around 9:40 a.m., an IMPD North District officer conducted a traffic stop for reckless driving in the 3400 block of North Parker Ave., right across the street from Washington Park.
As the officer was getting out of his marked vehicle, police claimed the driver had already exited his car and began verbally engaging with the officer. Police said the driver then went back to the driver’s seat of his vehicle disregarding the officer’s verbal commands. Police claim the officer continued to verbally engage the driver when he exited the vehicle and ran from the car armed with a handgun.
“As the officer was speaking to the driver, the driver fled on foot with a gun in his hand,” said IMPD Deputy Chief Michael Wolley.
Officials said the officer initially ran after the driver while giving verbal commands. But just a few seconds later, that officer shot the fleeing suspect at least one time.
The officer immediately provided medical aid to the driver until paramedics arrived. The driver then died after being taken to the hospital. The officer suffered no injuries.
The victim was later identified as 49-year-old Gary Dwayne Harrell.
“I think it’s important we remember someone lost his life here today,” Wolley said during a Thursday afternoon update. “A family has been forever changed and our officer’s life has been forever changed. These are tough times.”
Police claimed that they did recover a weapon on the scene. Pictures of that weapon were released by IMPD. Officials at the scene did not say if the person pointed a gun or fired any shots at the officer. Police also claimed that narcotics were also recovered from the scene.
IMPD had not been actively searching for the driver prior to the shooting, so it’s not clear why he tried to run away from what appears to be a random traffic stop.
“The officer was on routine patrol as we want them to be proactive in our community and saw a reckless driver and attempted to pull him over,” said Wolley.
Multiple entities, including the department’s Critical Incident Response Team and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, are conducting the investigation.
The officer who was involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave, Wolley said, which is normal after these kinds of situations. A body-worn camera was active during the incident.
Those videos are normally released several weeks after the shooting and will be reviewed by the Civilian Use of Force Board.
On Aug. 11, IMPD officials confirmed with FOX59/CBS4 that the officer who was involved in the incident was 28-year IMPD officer Douglas Correll.
“IMPD will continue to be fair and transparent with our community while protecting the integrity of criminal investigations, and officer safety. IMPD formalized a policy in 2020 which outlines when and how officers involved in critical incidents should be identified to the public.
This policy solidifies IMPD’s practice of conducting a threat assessment by the IMPD Intelligence Unit following a critical incident and prior to releasing the names of the officers involved to protect the officer and their families. This policy ensures information is provided to the public as soon as possible.
This incident is being investigated by IMPD’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). Detectives are working with the Marion County Prosecutors Office, and the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency to ensure a fair and thorough investigation is completed.
A separate internal investigation is being conducted by IMPD’s Internal Affairs Unit to ensure compliance with departmental policy, as is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.
The civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board will conduct a mandatory hearing for any use of deadly force against a person. The Use of Force Review Board will make an advisory finding related to this incident which will be limited to determining whether the officer’s actions were within departmental policy. This occurs after the conclusion of the criminal process.”
At the end of his comments, Wolley asked for patience from the community as the investigation is conducted.
Detectives continue to canvass the area for witnesses and other evidence. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sergeant Mark Prater at the homicide office by calling (317) 327-3475. Anyone with information can also call the Crime Stoppers anonymously at (317) 262-TIPS.
Jesse Wells contributed to this report.