Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Occurs During High-Risk Traffic Stop in Indianapolis

Image from the drone that was being flown during the incident – Photo courtesy of ISP

Staff report written from ISP press release

Indianapolis, Indiana – September 27, 2023

September 26, 2023, at approximately 4:40 p.m., officers from the Indiana State Police (ISP) and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) were engaged in a joint investigation near the intersection of East 40th Street and North Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis.

The operation was aimed at locating and apprehending 42-year-old Darmon Graves Jr. of Indianapolis, who was the subject of an outstanding felony warrant related to a parole violation stemming from a serious violent felony.

During the course of the investigation, officers observed Darmon Graves Jr. in the passenger seat of a silver car traveling eastbound on East 40th Street at North Keystone Avenue. In response, officers initiated a high-risk traffic stop, positioning their vehicles strategically to contain the silver car. They then proceeded to exit their patrol units and positioned themselves behind two police vehicles while attempting to communicate with the occupants of the silver car.

The female driver of the vehicle complied with officers’ orders to exit the car, and she cooperated with law enforcement commands. However, Darmon Graves Jr. remained inside the vehicle. Moments later, Graves exited the passenger side of the car brandishing a handgun. The firearm was raised and pointed in the direction of the officers. In response to this immediate threat, three police officers—two from IMPD and one from ISP—discharged their weapons.

Darmon Graves Jr. was struck by gunfire and fell to the ground. Despite officers’ continued orders, he became unresponsive. Officers immediately moved in to assess his condition and provided emergency aid. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The entire incident was captured on multiple sources of police surveillance equipment, including body-worn cameras, dash cameras, and a police drone that had been deployed before the traffic stop.

Investigators from both the Indiana State Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department arrived at the scene. ISP assumed the lead in the investigation, with assistance from IMPD. Crime Scene Investigators from ISP were dispatched to document and process evidence.

No uninvolved civilians or officers sustained injuries during the incident. In accordance with established protocols, the Police Officer Support Team (POST) and the IMPD Chaplain’s Office were deployed to the scene to provide peer support and assistance to the affected officers. Both law enforcement agencies involved are diligently following their respective policies and procedures governing officer-involved shootings.

Representatives from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) also responded to the scene to lend their expertise to the ongoing investigation.

This incident was part of the ongoing efforts of the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force (ICGTF), a collaborative initiative comprising law enforcement officers and analysts from multiple central Indiana agencies across several counties. The ICGTF works in partnership with state, local, and federal agencies to address violent crime and the illegal possession of firearms through a comprehensive strategy, employing innovative methods to locate suspects and gather evidence related to violent crimes.

The female driver of the silver car was initially detained by officers but was subsequently released after being interviewed by investigators.

Please note that the information provided in this release is preliminary, as the investigation is still active and ongoing. Further updates will be made available as the investigation progresses.

Handgun recovered from the scene – Photo provided by ISP

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