An Indianapolis man involved in a high-speed car chase and foot pursuit with police was streaming on Facebook Live when an officer fatally shot him Wednesday evening.
The shooting of 21-year-old Dreasjon “Sean” Reed sparked demonstrations long into the night and left family members and protesters demanding answers from the police.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said officers were pursuing Reed because he was driving recklessly. According to IMP Assistant Chief Chris Bailey, after the driver exited his car, a yet to be identified police officer chased him on foot for a short distance, ending in an exchange of gunfire around 6:15 p.m. At least 13 or 14 shots are heard being fired in the video.
Authorities announced that the officer who shot the young man has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.
In tears near the scene of the incident was Jazmine Reed, who identified herself in a TV interview as the victim’s sister. She told WISH that her family had watched the pursuit on Facebook and heard the shooting happen in real-time. She said she drove to the scene not knowing whether her brother had survived.
“I feel like to lose a life, especially at a young age, there’s never going to be justice,” she said. “Cause he’s gone — there’s never justice for that. Even if somebody was to get time or whatever for it, it’s never going to be justice because he’s never coming back.” She added, “I shouldn’t have to bury my little brother.”
According to Bailey the incident originated on I-65 near 30th Street. That’s when Deputy Chief Kendale Adams first noticed a gray Toyota Corolla driving recklessly on Interstate 65 around 6 p.m. Adams was traveling in an unmarked vehicle. Behind his vehicle was IMPD Chief Randal Taylor, also in an unmarked vehicle. Adams initiated a pursuit, asking for help from other officers. Taylor aided in the pursuit, the news release said.
According to police, Reed was “driving at a high rate of speed and disobeying all traffic signals” and “almost struck other vehicles” while exiting the interstate. Bailey said the vehicle had reached speeds of up to 90 mph.
Police officers then began following the car at 6:01 p.m. When marked police cars arrived both Adams and Taylor stopped their pursuit, which IMPD said is standard procedure for unmarked vehicles.
By 6:10 p.m., Bailey said, an IMPD sergeant ordered that they end the pursuit because of how fast the suspect was driving and because of his speed as they approached an intersection near West 56th Street and Lafayette Road.
An officer then saw Reed’s car driving eastbound on 62nd Street, Bailey said.
Reed pulled the vehicle behind a locksmith store near West 62nd Street and Michigan Road. Police said that after “disregarding the officers’ verbal commands to stop,” the driver ran out of the car.
Reed was streaming the chase live on Facebook, to the nearly 4,000 people watching.
“Somebody come get my stupid ass,” the Reed said. “Please come get me! Please come get me! Please come get me!”
“I’m on 62nd and Michigan,” he said before exiting the vehicle. “I just parked. … I’m gone.” He pleaded one last time: “Please come get me!”
From there, the shaky video went dark as he possibly lodged the phone in the waistband of his pants. Reed can be heard sprinting and panting in a 30-second chase by foot. A voice can be heard yelling at the man, “Stop! Stop!”
According to the incident report, the officer confronted Reed and deployed his Taser. They were the only two people at the scene at the time, police said.
“It is believed at this time that shots were fired by both the officer and the suspect,” Bailey told reporters.
In the eight seconds that followed, about 13 or 14 gunshots could be heard in the video.
Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services arrived a short time later and pronounced Reed dead at the scene. The officer was uninjured, Bailey said. Investigators told WTHR that a gun was found near the victim that did not belong to the officer.
At one point during the conversation about Reed, who had been shot and possibly already deceased, one of the officers can be heard saying, “That’s gonna be a closed casket homie.”
The Facebook Live video, which was widely shared throughout social media on Wednesday night, has since been removed from Reed’s personal account.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Bailey said police were aware of the video. “Both the officers and the detectives have done their due diligence in preserving that evidence through the proper legal channels, and if it’s associated that there’s information on there that’s appropriate for the investigation, they’ll utilize it,” he said.
Police said that the shooting is being investigated by the department and that a separate, independent internal investigation will be conducted to ensure that the officer followed departmental policy.
In the hours after the incident, 100 to 150 protesters came out in support of the driver, chanting “Murder! Murder!” and “No Justice! No Peace!” at police on the scene.
“We deserve better,” one community activist told the Star. “I am disgusted, horrified, tired and angry.”
Fighting through tears, Sean Reed’s family members remembered him Wednesday as a graduate of Lawrence North High School, who spent a year in the Air Force and was splitting his time between Indianapolis and North Texas. His sister told WTHR that she would hold onto his smile and how much he loved his 2-year-old niece.