IMPD: Chase with escapee ends with gunfire near school

John William Foster (Provided Photo/Oldham County Jail)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police say a vehicle pursuit with an escapee from Kentucky ended with gunfire on the south side of Indianapolis Monday morning.

It happened outside of Perry Meridian Middle School, near West Meridian School Road and South Meridian Street, around 8:15 a.m.

According to a spokesman with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the escapee was driving a vehicle that was stolen from a Kentucky correctional facility several days ago. A jail official in Oldham County, Kentucky confirmed the escapee is John William Foster IV.

IMPD says when he escaped Foster stole a corrections car, removed the decals and swapped the plates.

Officials say it started as a low-speed chase, but when Foster saw police, speeds accelerated.

It ended in front of the middle school when Foster shot himself in the neck. He was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. As of Monday evening, he was listed in critical condition.

IMPD said a reserve officer who works for the school fired his gun at the same time Foster did. However, police believe Foster’s gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

The incident forced the middle school, high school and sixth grade academy all into lockdown. No children were hurt. The lockdown was lifted around 1 p.m. officials said.

“Lockdown entails that no individuals can leave the building or enter the building, period,” said Dr. Thomas Little, schools superintendent. “We put it on lockdown for the safety and security of our children.”

According to IMPD Lt. Don Bender at the scene, police have seen Foster in the Indianapolis area recently, but he’s managed to elude officers. It’s unclear what charges he was facing in Kentucky at the time of his escape.

As for the investigation, IMPD says they’ll conduct an internal investigation because an off-duty IMPD officer employed by the school also discharged his weapon

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