UPDATE: New documents uncovered by I-Team 8’s Bennett Haeberle provide some new insight in the case. It is still not known why shots rang out. Read more here.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Thursday afternoon, Southport Police Department Lt. Aaron Allan was killed while responding to a call in Homecroft. One suspect, Jason Brown, has been arrested in the case.
Here is what we know and what we don’t know regarding the case.
What happened at the scene
Officers from Southport and Homecroft were dispatched to a property-damage accident call at 2:38 p.m. along Madison Avenue in Homecroft. The car, a 2004 BMW, had crashed into a yard and was upside down. We do not know the circumstances leading up to the crash.
As Lt. Allan approached the inverted car to assist, shots were fired by one of the car’s occupants, striking the Southport lieutenant. We do not know what sort of interaction Allan and the occupants of the vehicle had prior to shots being fired.
A Homecroft police officer and an off-duty Johnson County reserve deputy, who had stopped to help, returned fire that struck one of the occupants.
Authorities have not identified either of those officers. It has not been stated which officer struck the suspect with gunfire. It has not been stated which suspect was struck by gunfire.
The off-duty Johnson County reserve deputy was in civilian clothes, driving his personal vehicle and fired his personal firearm. He has a nursing background and was trying to assist with medical needs. Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox says that the reserve deputy will not be making statements until he has given all information to investigators with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
The reserve deputy will have a firearms review with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at a later date.
Allan was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition.
The two people in the car were taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. One of them was shot, the other was injured during the crash. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
A witness told 24-Hour News 8 that he heard around 20 shots fired.
The shooting happened just down the street from Woody Book’s front porch. “I heard maybe eight gunshots go off,” Book said Friday. “I felt pretty bad about it. I heard the gunshots that went off that, I’m assuming, killed him.”
A police report lists 76 reporting or assisting officers that were on scene, including Allan.
One witness, the passenger in the vehicle, is listed on the police report. His name has been redacted. He has since been interviewed by police and released.
The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team will be investigating the criminal aspects of the investigation.
Investigators on Friday returned to the Madison Avenue property where the crash happened and dropped to their hands and knees to look through the grass on the front lawn. 24-Hour News 8 asked IMPD what, if anything in specific, they were looking for and a department spokesperson said he would check with detectives to see.
Lt. Allan’s death
Just before 7:30 p.m., Allan’s death was announced by Sgt. Kendale Adams with IMPD.
His official cause and manner of death have not yet been released. Allan’s autopsy is scheduled for Friday with the Marion County Coroner’s Office.
Information regarding his funeral has not been released.
Allan is the first Southport officer to be killed in the line of duty.
It has not been stated whether or not Allan was wearing a bulletproof vest.
In 2015, 24-Hour News 8 reported that the Southport Police Department would be receiving body cameras. The Southport Police Department confirmed that body camera video exists. The video is currently is possession of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. 24-Hour News 8 has requested that it be made public so that the community has a better understanding of what happened. The chief of the Southport Police Department said it will be released when the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office approves of its release.
A police report indicates that 28-year-old Jason Brown has been arrested in the case on a preliminary charge of murder. Online jail records indicate that he is in custody in the Marion County Jail. A mugshot for his arrest has not yet been provided by IMPD.
The police report states a supplemental offense of “controlled substance – possession/cultivation marijuana.” No further information has been released regarding this charge.
An online court record shows a 2013 arrest in Hendricks County. His address in the online record matches the address listed in the IMPD police report. The online court records show he received 30 days in the Hendricks County Jail for a class A misdemeanor drug offense. He was found guilty in July of 2014. A mugshot for that case is not available, according to the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office.
The other occupant of the vehicle has not been identified. A name for that person is not on the police report.
Formal charges against Brown have not been filed yet by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. A hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on August 1. MCPO said a charging decision will be made by that time and date.
The 38-year-old Allan had been with SPD for nearly six years and had 20 years of law enforcement experience. He had previously worked at Franklin Central High School as an officer until last December. In January, he became Southport’s first full-time officer.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Southport Police Chief Thomas Vaughn to help Allan’s wife and children with expenses.
His police cruiser is on display at the Southport Police Department. Community members have been dropping off flowers and teddy bears to honor Allan. Southport Police Department Chief Thomas Vaughn said that Allan’s nickname was “Teddy Bear.”
Neighbors will gather at 7 p.m. Friday to line Madison Avenue with blue ribbons. Community members can meet in the 6000 block of South Madison Avenue, near where the shooting occurred.
Neighbors are also working with a graphic design company out of Plainfield to create decals in honor of Allan. 300 decals will be available on a donation basis at the 7 p.m. gathering. They will read “#SouthportStrong” and “#HomecroftStrong” on them.
Southport and Homecroft will both be participating in National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1. Allan will be honored at the events. Southport’s will be held at 6901 Derbyshire Road. Homecroft’s will be held in the lot near Homecroft Elementary. Both events run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.