INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man who was mistakenly shot by a police officer responding to an armed robbery said Friday that he didn't know officers had arrived at his home until he was blinded by their flashlights after being shot.
Carl Williams, a 48-year-old postal worker, said at a news conference that he was in his garage with his handgun at his right side early Tuesday awaiting police when he was shot, apparently just as officers were arriving.
"I knew the police where there after I got shot by them, after I had about three million spotlights in my face," he said. "... The only thing I can remember is intense pain, falling on the ground and telling the police officers 'I am the homeowner. Why did you shoot me?"
Williams called 911 to report that a young man had pointed a gun at his wife in their driveway and demanded her car keys. She threw the keys at the gunman, ran into the house and told her husband, who entered their garage armed.
Williams was overheard yelling, "Is that him?" before ending the 911 call, police said.
Williams' attorney, Richard Hailey, said police apparently did not identify themselves when they arrived at the home. He said an officer fired at least twice, and that one bullet struck Williams in the upper groin and travelled to near his hip joint.
The officer who shot Williams, Christopher Mills, was placed on leave. He's a nine-year veteran of Indianapolis police.
Assistant Chief Randal Taylor on Tuesday called the shooting "a tragic event with a number of circumstances that collided all at once." He said the car that was target of the carjacking and robbery was still in the driveway when officers arrived.
Police said in a statement that officers then "sought cover in an attempt to approach in a covert manner to investigate the vehicle."
Hailey said he and his law partner are still conducting interviews with residents in Williams' east side neighborhood. Once that's complete, he said they plan to "engage in a constructive conversation with the city of Indianapolis" about the shooting.
He said it isn't a certainty that they will sue the city over the shooting, which could suggest they might seek a settlement.