The officer involved in the Sunday morning police action shooting has given his second statement to investigators. Investigators believe the officer’s actions were lawful under Indiana law and within department guidelines. The case file for the incident will now be presented to the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office for review. The officer involved in the incident is Officer Ryan Winters. He is a 7 year EPD Veteran and is assigned to the Motor Patrol Division. Officer Winters remains on the standard 3 day paid administrative leave. That leave will end at the conclusion of his schedule Wednesday night shift. Officer Winters will then be allowed return to work after a mandatory meeting with a mental health professional.
EPD official statement regarding Police Action Shooting on 091414: “Not Today” Not today is a saying that refers to an event in which a police officer has come face to face with extreme violence and survived. They have overcome the fear, the emotion, the danger, and survived a life threatening event. Early this morning, a 7 year EPD veteran had a “Not Today” experience on a busy gas station parking lot at corner of Walnut and Kentucky. As on most weekends, the parking lot was full of patrons who had just left area bars.
Having dealt with an earlier dispute at one of the bars, officers were concerned that the dispute might continue at the gas station. It is not uncommon for our officers to respond to fights and other complaints in this area after the bars close. At 3:26 Sunday morning, gunfire erupted on the Marathon gas station lot. A nearby officer heard the gun shots and notified dispatch of the situation. Despite the known danger, the officer immediately drove on to the lot. As he pulled his marked police car onto the lot, the shots continued to ring out. When he got out of his car, he was met with more gunfire and saw an armed suspect next to the building. The officer again notified dispatch of the shots being fired and then engaged the suspect. The officer fired multiple times at the shooter and gave chase as the gunman tried to run behind the building. The suspect was taken into custody after a brief foot chase.
Officers recovered his gun at the scene. The suspect was taken to a local hospital where he is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. The injuries are not considered life threatening. Due to the initial gun battle and the officer involved shooting, it is not known at this time if the injuries were caused by another unknown shooter, the officer, or a combination of both. The hospitalized suspect is 25 year old TERRONTA BOOKER. He has prior weapons convictions and is currently on parole for Robbery and Criminal Confinement.
We have located David Simpson, the person of interest we announced earlier today. He is currently being interviewed by investigators. There is video of the officer involved shooting and the moments that led up to it. There is body cam video and cameras at the gas station. We have not been able to view the gas station footage yet, but we have reviewed the officer’s body cam footage. Under normal circumstances, we would not make videos public during an active investigation. However, immediately following the heroic actions of this officer, we were confronted by angry residents who made references to the recent incident in Ferguson, Missouri.
Some of the vocal residents had not been at the gas station during the incident, but arrived afterwards and began taunting the officers who had arrived to assist. One media outlet has already been told that there is a home video showing the incident and that it proves the officer is at fault. While I can’t say if there are other videos out there, I can assure you that this officer responded to the violent situation that unfolded in front of him. The fault in this incident falls on the gunmen who opened fire in a parking lot full of innocent people.
While we have a responsibility to preserve the integrity of the investigation, we also have a responsibility to preserve the peace in our community. We have a responsibility to prevent false information and speculation from dominating the conversations about this incident. We have a responsibility to deter anyone who would chose to use this incident to create fear and mistrust of police by using misinformation to influence people’s judgment against the officer or the Evansville Police Department.
Because of these immediate attempts to circulate misleading information and attempts to utilize an incident from another community as a rallying cry for the suspect, we will be releasing the officer’s body cam footage today. The video has been posted on the Evansville Police Department YouTube Channel. The officer’s name will be released after he gives his second statement on Wednesday.
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