INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on Tuesday released dramatic body camera footage showing the moments when a man ambushed and stabbed police with a knife before officers shot him.
The ordeal took place on December 1 on the near north side of Indianapolis.
The video, which was posted to IMPD’s YouTube page, is meant as a community briefing and is designed to give an overview of the incident. It includes body-camera video and 911 recordings.
IMPD warns that the video contains graphic images and language. Viewer discretion is advised. Click here to watch the video.
The incident unfolded at about 1:15 a.m. in the 1400 block of Fairfield Avenue, which is just south of the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Police arrived to find a man — later identified as 20-year-old Deonta Williams — standing in the street. He told them he was being harassed by another person. IMPD said the officers told Williams they would try to find the person involved, but when they turned and began walking away, Williams stabbed them. One officer was stabbed in the chest. The other was stabbed in the neck.
The officers then gave verbal commands for Williams to get on the ground. When he did not comply, the officers shot Williams multiple times. Officers held Williams at gunpoint until more officers arrived.
The president of the local Fraternal Order of Police praised the officers for their bravery.
“They cover their wounds. They stop the threat, but then work with other officers to provide medical treatment to the person who just tried to kill them. Those are pretty special people that are able to do that,” said Rick Snyder.
Court records show Williams was charged with burglary in a separate case last year but posted bond and was on GPS monitoring awaiting trial at the time of the stabbing. That’s why Snyder believes the attack was preventable.
“My fear is people shrug it off because they survived. One took a knife through the neck and another in the chest near his heart. Only through the grace of God they survived,” said Snyder. “There are still questions here. Who made the decisions that led to that person being out?”
Documents show that after having surgery to close a wound in his neck, an officer arrived at the hospital to speak with Williams. He told the officer that he called 911 and made up a story about being harassed to draw officers to his location.
“He said that he felt the city owed him because he had received a large medical bill that he could not pay and decided to take it out on the officers,” states the affidavit.
Later while in jail, the officer spoke with Williams again and asked what his plan was. Williams told the officer he just wanted to die and, “Get my own justice,” by killing an officer.
“He said he hoped to get the gun from the officer he killed and then have the other officer shoot him, and that would get him justice.”
Williams was charged with two counts of attempted murder.
“The incident is being investigated by IMPD’s Critical Incident Response Team,” IMPD stated in the video. “A separate and independent investigation will be conducted by IMPD’s Internal Affairs Unit to ensure compliance with department policy. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is being consulted throughout the investigative process. This incident will be reviewed by the civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board. This occurs after the conclusion of the criminal process.”