INDIANAPOLIS — A man died after being shot during a multi-hour standoff with Indianapolis Metropolitan police.
Police said the man was having a mental health crisis and had threatened family members and police prior to the shooting. The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified him as 40-year-old Kendall Darnell Gilbert.
IMPD Public Information Officer Shane Foley reported that the incident began near Woodland Drive at approximately 6:45 p.m. Sunday. An elderly woman at the address pushed an emergency alert button and told police Gilbert was trying to kill her.
Foley said that, at 9:15 p.m., members of a SWAT team and the Crisis Negotiation Unit responded to the scene. While multiple negotiators talked to the man, they were “not able to have any meaningful conversation,” police said. SWAT employed less-lethal tactics and devices–specifically bean bags rounds, a stun gun and a pepper ball–to take Gilbert into custody without using deadly force.
These attempts were unsuccessful, police said, and Gilbert “moved toward officers with a machete and made contact with a ballistics shield an officer was holding.” At that point, a member of the SWAT team fired a shot, striking him at least once.
Gilbert was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He later died from his injuries. No IMPD officers were injured during the incident.
Investigators recovered a machete and a knife from the scene. IMPD said multiple officers were equipped with body cameras.
Prior to the standoff, IMPD said police had been called to the same address on multiple occasions.
Here’s the timeline as outlined by police:
- Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, around 2:45 p.m. IMPD responds to a home in the 4500 block of Woodland Drive for a report of a check the welfare of a male. The caller stated the male was schizophrenic and was sending out strange messages to family. No report was made.
- Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, around 1:30 a.m. IMPD officers responded to the same home on Woodland Drive for reports of the male suspect who was destroying property in his bedroom. The caller stated the male refused to open door for family. Officers believed the male was not a danger to others and no report was made.
- Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, around 8:30 p.m. IMPD responded to the same home for reports of a male experiencing a mental episode and threatening to decapitate family members. The male was still barricaded in a room. Officers assisted getting family members out of house and provided them with information about mental health resources.
- Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, around 5:20 p.m. IMPD received a call at the same home from a family member saying their brother was hallucinating and stating he would burn house down and. Officers spoke with caller and told the family member to leave residence.
- Sunday, Aug. 27, around 6:45 p.m. Police returned to the address after a woman pushed an emergency button saying someone was trying to kill her. They found a man with a machete threatening officers. This led to the deadly encounter with police hours later.
The incident is the focus of multiple investigations, including a criminal investigation by the IMPD Critical Response Team and a separate administrative investigation by IMPD Internal Affairs. The officer who fired his gun has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in police shootings.
Once the investigation is completed, the civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board will conduct a mandatory hearing to review the case.