INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A police officer had no reason to suspect he was in danger before he was fatally shot while trying to help two people inside an overturned car in a yard along a busy Indianapolis street, his chief said Friday.
Police arrested 28-year-old Jason Brown, of Indianapolis, on a preliminary murder charge for the Thursday afternoon killing of Southport police Lt. Aaron Allan. Authorities haven't disclosed a possible motive for the attack.
Court documents say Allan sustained 14 gunshot wounds, WISH-TV reported. They say Homecroft Police Maj. C.T. Bowman, who also responded to the crash, says Brown was upside-down in the vehicle and being held in by his seat belt. He says Brown was "hysterical" and Allan told Brown to be calm.
Bowman says Allan climbed into the car, then Bowman turned to speak to a female witness when shots rang out, the documents say. Bowman said he heard 10 or 12 gunshots followed by a lull, then two or three additional gunshots.
Indianapolis police said two other officers, including one who was off-duty, returned fire and shot one of the people in the car, but they didn't specify whether it was Brown. Both people in the car suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police spokesman Sgt. Kendale Adams said Friday.
Southport Police Chief Thomas Vaughn said Allan would have been in "medic mode instead of police mode" as he approached the crash scene, which was in a largely residential area.
The car wasn't stolen and no arrest warrants were pending for Brown, Vaughn said.
"I think that's the hard part some of the officers and our community are dealing with now — they don't understand why you would shoot someone who was there to help you. He wasn't there to arrest you," Vaughn said.
Allan, 38, was married and the father of a teenage son and a 5-year-old son, Vaughn said.
A judge on Friday ordered Brown to remain in custody without bond until a Tuesday court hearing, said Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman for the Marion County prosecutor's office. The office expects to decide on filing formal charges in the shooting early next week, she said.
Brown, who was still hospitalized Friday, also faces a preliminary charge of marijuana possession, according to police.
The person who was in the car with Brown was interviewed by detectives and released, the police said in a Friday news release.
Allan's patrol SUV was parked Friday outside the Southport police station and was covered with flower bouquets and other mementoes left by residents.
Vaughn said he hired Allan in January to join him as Southport's only full-time officers after about five years as a volunteer on the department while also working as an officer for the Franklin Township school district in suburban Indianapolis.
"He knew everybody's name. He got out of the car. He would go into every business every day and say 'Hey, how are you doing?'" Vaughn said. "... He had that switch, where to him it was going out talking to friends all day. And when he had to, he would put them in jail, write them a ticket or do what he needed to do."