Indianapolis police defend fatal shooting of man with knife

A man in Indianapolis wielding a knife was shot by police when he lunged toward an officer. (Courtesy WTHR via CNN)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis police say officers appeared to have no choice but to shoot a man brandishing a large knife on the city’s northeast side over the weekend, though some area residents questioned whether deadly force was necessary.

Christopher Goodlow, 25, of Indianapolis, was fatally shot at around 12 p.m. on Saturday after officers responded to a call about an apparently suicidal man, according to a statement from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The Indianapolis Star reports that a crowd gathered as police investigated at the scene, with some expressing anger that officers decided to open fire. One person yelled: “Over a knife? Oh my God.”

But department spokesman Lt Richard Riddle told reporters Goodlow refused repeated orders to drop the knife. A police statement said a stun gun didn’t subdue Goodlow either and that police opened fire only after he charged at one officer with the knife extended in front of him.

“Our officers were ultimately forced to use deadly force in the incident,” Riddle said. He added that he had viewed a video of the shooting by a bystander and that the officers acted appropriately.

Police shootings have become a major national issue, with scrutiny focused in recent weeks on Chicago police following the release of video showing an officer shooting a teenager 16 times as he veered away from officers carrying a small knife.

There have been at least 20 shootings by Indianapolis police this year, with around half involving fatalities, Riddle says.

The officers will be put on paid administrative leave during an internal investigation to determine whether any department policies were violated. The police statement said that’s standard procedure for any officer-involved shooting.

Comments are closed.