INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis police officer mistakenly shot and badly wounded an armed homeowner who was trying to protect his wife during an attempted robbery early Tuesday, authorities said.
The shooting happened around 4:30 a.m. after police were called about an armed robbery in progress in a subdivision on the city's far east side. Assistant Chief Randal Taylor said a woman was confronted in her driveway by a young man who pointed a gun at her head and demanded her car keys.
She threw the keys at the gunman, ran into the house and her husband came outside with a gun at around the time officers were arriving, Taylor said.
The homeowner was overheard yelling, "Is that him?" before ending the 911 call, police said.
"The vehicle that was the target of the carjacking and robbery was still in the driveway," Taylor said. "Officers weren't initially sure if the suspect was still with the vehicle. The husband was out with the weapon, and unfortunately the husband was shot by one of our officers."
The officers "sought cover in an attempt to approach in a covert manner to investigate the vehicle," police said in a later news release.
"This was a tragic event with a number of circumstances that collided all at once," Taylor said.
It wasn't clear if officers gave any commands to the armed homeowner before shooting him.
The homeowner, whose name wasn't released, was shot in the stomach. He was hospitalized in stable condition and is expected to survive, police said.
Police also didn't immediately release the name of the officer who shot the man, but say he's a nine-year veteran. He has been placed on leave.
The gunman who tried to steal the car, described as in his late teens, fled from the scene and was being sought.
Taylor said the shooting is being investigated and that the officer, whose name wasn't released, has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome.
"Obviously the homeowner had a weapon out, but I'm not sure what conversations would have occurred, if any, between the officer and the homeowner," he said.
The wounded man didn't apparently fire any shots and his wife wasn't injured, authorities said.
"Our prayers and thoughts are certainly with him and his wife and the rest of their family," Taylor said. "It's just an unfortunate occurrence."