IMPD names officer, suspects in officer-involved shooting

(WISH Photo/Vi Nguyen)
(WISH Photo/Vi Nguyen)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department held a press conference Thursday afternoon to provide an update on Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting.

Police said an IMPD officer shot a man twice while responding to a theft call. Officers said the theft suspect is 39-year-old Stephen Cole. Officers said Cole was resisting arrest when his brother, 50-year-old Gerald Cole, attacked the officer from behind.

Officers said Gerald Cole tried to take the officer’s gun, but the officer maintained control and fired two shots, striking Gerald Cole in his arm and back. Gerald Cole is also the uncle of the person that called 911 for the theft report.

IMPD addressed the incident during a new conference Thursday afternoon. Officer Perry was called to a theft in progress at a home on the city’s east side on Denny near Washington and Sherman Wednesday evening. Police say 39-year old Stephen Cole stole his daughter’s cell phone, credit card and hit her. Police did not release the woman’s name. Officer Perry was the first to arrive, before back up could make it. It didn’t take long before Stephen’s brother stepped in.

“A quick and violent struggle over the gun ensued, and the officer was able to maintain control over his weapon,” said Major Riddle.

According to Riddle, Stephen resisted Officer Perry as he tried to handcuff him. Officer Perry had him on the ground trying to get the handcuffs around his wrists.  According to Riddle, that’s when Gerald came after Officer Perry from behind, attempting to grab his gun.

“Aggressively attacked our officer and tried to disarm him. I don’t know if any higher aggression besides taking a shot at our officers that you can have from someone, a third party, attacking an officer like that,” said Riddle.

Riddle says Officer Perry fired two shots, “We’re talking a very close quarter struggle and when the shots were fired, Mr. Cole, from my understanding, was still very close to the officer in his proximity when the officer fired his weapon.”

“The officer immediately requested EMS to the scene to provide treatment of Mr. Cole’s injuries,” said IMPD Major Richard Riddle.

Gerald Cole remains hospitalized. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The officer involved is James Perry, an IMPD officer since June 2014. He is on administrative leave during the investigation, a standard practice.

eff James works in the neighborhood. He heard the shots and saw the aftermath.

“Mainly I just saw him on the ground and you could see the bullet wounds in his back. He was kind of facing away from me,” he described.

The shooting

It happened near North Denny Street and Washington Street just after 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said it all began when Officer James Perry responded to a call for a theft. Perry arrived on scene and learned a man, identified as Stephen Cole, had stolen his 19-year-old daughter’s cell phone and debit card.

“At some point during that discussion the father was on the ground. The officer apparently placed him there,” said IMPD Chief Troy Riggs.

While the officer was trying to detain the father, police said Gerald Cole got involved.

“A third individual, who happened to be in the house became involved in the situation and according to a witness started to remove the officer’s gun from his holster,” said Riggs.

There was a struggle between the two for the gun. Police said the officer got control and shot the man twice. The man was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Police said they have taken all known witnesses in for questioning and statements at IMPD headquarters. If you know anything about the shooting you’re asked to call police.

Perry was not injured.