Male Making Threats with Machete Fatally Shot by Indianapolis Police After Hours-Long Standoff in Indianapolis

Courtesy photo – IMPD

Staff report

Indianapolis, Ind. – August 28, 2023

 A male who had been making threats with a machete was shot and killed by members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) SWAT team following an extensive standoff, according to IMPD. The incident, which took place at a residence on Woodland Drive, has prompted investigations into both the use of force and the circumstances leading up to the fatal encounter.

According to preliminary information released by IMPD Public Affairs, the events unfolded over the course of several days. On Friday, August 25th, 2023, around 2:45 p.m., IMPD officers responded to a call regarding a male at a home on Woodland Drive. The caller expressed concern about the individual’s welfare, citing the male’s erratic behavior and unusual messages to family members. However, no formal report was filed.

Over the ensuing days, the situation escalated. On Saturday, August 26th, around 1:30 a.m., officers were again dispatched to the same address due to reports of the male suspect causing property damage in his room. The male refused to open the door for family members, though officers determined he posed no immediate threat to others, according to the IMPD.

Later that day, according to IMPD, at approximately 8:30 p.m., IMPD officers were called back to the residence as the male’s behavior became increasingly alarming. Reports indicated he was undergoing a mental episode and had issued threats of violence against his family, even mentioning decapitation. Officers ensured the safety of family members and offered information about mental health resources.

The situation reached a critical point on Sunday, August 27th, around 5:20 p.m., when IMPD received yet another call from a family member concerned about the male’s hallucinatory behavior and his threats to burn down the house. Officers engaged with the caller and advised them to vacate the premises.

Subsequently, around 6:45 p.m. that same evening, officers responded to a welfare check after a woman reported an attempted assault. Upon arriving at the scene, they encountered the adult male outside the residence’s front door, brandishing a machete and making threats toward the officers. The situation escalated as officers tried to establish communication with the male.

The IMPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and Crisis Negotiation Unit were summoned to the scene. Despite attempts to engage the male in dialogue, negotiations proved unsuccessful. At approximately 9:10 p.m., SWAT members deployed less lethal devices and distraction tactics in an effort to subdue the male without resorting to lethal force.

He advanced toward officers, machete in hand, and made contact with an officer’s ballistics shield. In response, a SWAT team member discharged his firearm, striking the male at least once. The male received immediate medical attention from on-scene SWAT medics and was subsequently transported to Eskenazi Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

A machete and knife were recovered from the scene by detectives. No bystanders were harmed during the incident. Multiple officers equipped with body-worn cameras captured footage of the encounter.

As is protocol in such cases, an administrative investigation by IMPD Internal Affairs is underway, with the officer involved placed on administrative leave. Additionally, the IMPD Critical Incident Response Team is conducting a criminal investigation, while the civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board will hold a mandatory hearing after the conclusion of the criminal process.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office will determine the exact cause and manner of the male’s death. Meanwhile, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is aiding in the investigation.

Support services have been offered to officers involved, including peer support from the Police Officer Support Team, assistance from the IMPD Chaplain’s Office, and support for those affected by the incident from Victims Assistance.

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