EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) – Evansville Police say an attempted murder charge against a 17-year-old has been dropped after a detective noticed the suspect in surveillance footage was wearing different clothing than the teenager.

Denali Thomas was charged with attempted murder after police originally said he shot at an officer on May 22 outside of the Corner Pocket Bar on Fulton. Police have released new details of that case and what led them to arresting Thomas.

According to police, two Evansville Police Officers working off-duty at The Corner Pocket Bar heard shots fired outside in the 1800 block of N Fulton Ave. They say the officers saw several individuals fighting each other and one of the individuals was holding a handgun. Police state the suspect ran away after the officer walked towards them and announced himself loudly.

A police document states that during the foot pursuit, the suspect turned around and fired at least one shot at the officer. The officer says they returned fire but did not strike the suspect as they continued to run away. That’s when police say they lost sight of the suspect.

According to a police document, officers gave a description of the suspect over the radio and to other officers in the area. The suspect was described as a black male wearing a black hoodie, white Air Force shoes and black jeans. Police say 17-year-old Denali Thomas was stopped by EPD Officers in the immediate area because he matched the description that was given over the radio. Thomas was reportedly wearing a black hoodie, dark pants, and white Air Force One shoes. Officers say they identified Thomas to be the shooter and took him into custody.

Since Thomas was a teenager, police say he was taken to EPD headquarters to meet with detectives and his guardian for an interview. Thomas refused to give a statement, authorities say. According to police, Thomas never denied being involved in the shooting. Thomas was charged with Attempted Murder and was waived to adult court due to the nature of the charges. Thomas was transported and booked into the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center on May 22.

Tuesday morning around 4 a.m., a detective reviewing surveillance footage says he noticed that the suspect who ran and shot at the officer had a logo on his black hoodie. After closer review, the detective realized that Thomas’ black hoodie did not have that specific logo on it, police say.

A police document states that the detective immediately contacted his supervisor and the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office to notify them that he did not believe that Thomas was the correct suspect and he needed to be released as soon as possible.

Authorities say the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office filed an Order to Release from Custody Tuesday morning and contacted Thomas’ family to notify them. Thomas was released from the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center this morning and charges were dropped in reference to this investigation.

A new suspect, 32-year-old Randall Hood, was identified. He was arrested previously for unrelated drug charges, but now faces an Attempted Murder charge. Click here to read more about his alleged involvement in this case. Surveillance video from the night of May 22 can be watched below.

Surveillance Video 1 (Courtesy: Evansville Police Department)
(Courtesy: Surveillance Video 2)