Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers on Sunday night fatally shot a 15-year-old boy who police said accelerated a car toward officers, but a witness told a different account, saying that the teen did not attempt to drive over law enforcement, reported the Indianapolis Star. The victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was identified by the Marion County coroners' office as Andre Green. The Indianapolis teenager became at least the 183rd case of a black person killed by police in the U.S. this year, according to the Guardian, which has kept an online database tracking deaths from police brutality. He is also the youngest black teenager to die in 2015 from police gunfire.
Police felt threatened as the car, which matched the description of one that was reported as having been car-jacked, headed full-speed toward them, officers said Monday.
Photo of Andre Green, 15, from June. Shared with us by his sister, Terika Jackson: pic.twitter.com/JXaW5jSQwh
— Jill Disis (@jdisis) August 10, 2015
The auto theft suspects, who were allegedly armed, collided with a police car while making a U-turn, law enforcement said. Police then ordered the car to pull over, but said Green ignored their demands and drove his car at the officers and "narrowly missed" hitting one of them, according to a release from the department. After yelling again for Green to exit the vehicle, he did not listen and instead turned his wheels toward the officers and accelerated, police claimed. Following the shooting, Green exited the car with a handgun and collapsed, police said.
"We feel that they were in danger," Assistant Police Chief Lloyd Crowe said to the Associated Press, adding that the driver used the car as "his weapon of choice at that moment."
Witness Allen Eaton told the Star the series of events unfolded much differently from police's account. Green bumped into police cars as he tried to turn around in a dead end, said Eaton, 29. However, the teenager never tried to run down police, Eaton added.
The teenager had previously pleaded guilty in May to juvenile charges of auto theft and criminal mischief, reported the AP. Green was later found to have violated his probation in July from the case.
"There were demonstrations from his social media to things he had done in the neighborhood that led us to believe this young man was troubled," Crowe said.
The three officers involved were placed on administrative leave, as is per routine in such cases, and the internal affairs unit will investigate the shooting. None of the officers were wearing body cameras and no footage of the shooting has surfaced, reported the AP.