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Plain-Clothes Officer Takes Down Gunman Shooting In Traffic

Indianapolis, IN – Authorities said one of the gunman involved in a January shootout at a busy intersection pulled out a gun and fired multiple times before a plain clothes officer returned fire and shot him.

The incident began just before 1 p.m. on Jan. 28 as a disagreement between four people over the sale of a vehicle, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Police said a father and son, ages 71 and 44, were trying to buy a vehicle from 19-year-old Markeese Madison. Madison’s friend – 18-year-old Darius Lee Jackson – was also present.

But the son eventually called off the sale after they went over to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and Madison was unable to obtain the proper title to the truck, the Indianapolis Star reported.

That’s when the father and son said Jackson and Madison brandished a handgun in the parking lot of the BMV.

Police said the father and son fled in their truck, and Jackson and Madison jumped into their own trucks and pursued them, the Indianapolis Star reported.

All three vehicles got caught in traffic at the intersection of 30th Street and Shadeland Avenue.

Plain clothes Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Michael Sojka was stopped at the same intersection in an unmarked car, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Police said Officer Sojka, a six-year veteran of the force, saw people in two trucks stopped in traffic ahead of him get out of their vehicles and begin shooting.

And so, the officer fired at Madison, the Indianapolis Star reported.

“The plainclothes officer saw Mr. Madison exit the Chevy Silverado with a rifle and fire multiple rounds at someone,” IMPD said in an incident video released on March 16. “The officer then discharged his service weapon at Mr. Madison still armed with the rifle.”

A distant surveillance video from a gas station at the intersection showed Jackson getting out of his truck and walking backward while holding his hands extended in front of him as if he was pointing a gun, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Madison can be seen holding his gun in the video, according to police.

The father and son made an abrupt U-turn and fled the scene when Officer Sojka began shooting at Madison, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Police said the son had been shot where he sat in the passenger seat.

Madison and Jackson drove away after the gunfight and Officer Sojka briefly pursued them before turning things over to other marked police units who had responded to the area to assist, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Police received a report of a gunshot victim in the 6600-block of East 34th Street at 1:01 p.m. and found the son suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside his truck, which was on fire.

He was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Authorities have not released any information on what set the truck ablaze.

Twelve minutes later, surveillance video showed Jackson pulling into the emergency room entrance of Community East Hospital with a wounded Madison, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The video showed Jackson walked Madison into the hospital and then returned out front, where a security guard was standing near his vehicle.

As the security officer stood watching, Jackson took a jacket out of the front seat of his truck and stuffed it into a garbage can in front of the hospital.

Then he returned to the emergency room, with the security guard close behind him.

A moment later, the security guard returned and took the lid off the trash can.

The surveillance video showed he pulled the jacket out of the trash can and a semiautomatic gun dropped to the pavement.

Police also found a handgun in the trash can, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Madison and Jackson were both arrested at the hospital.

Court records showed the both men were charged with robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon from the incident, the Indianapolis Star reported.

IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said Officer Sojka had not had any interaction with the suspects prior to the shooting.

Chief Bailey said plain clothes officers were working the area because it is “area of concern and a high-violence area for our police department,” the Indianapolis Star reported.

“They were in this area doing exactly what we want them to do,” the assistant chief said at the time.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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