Lt. Aaron Allan of the Southport Police Department was responding to a call Thursday regarding people trapped inside a car that had flipped over in Indianapolis. As he approached the vehicle, Allan was shot multiple times and later died at a nearby hospital.
Two other officers at the scene — including one who was off-duty — returned fire, wounding the shooter, identified by the Indianapolis Star as Jason Brown.
Brown, 28, has been arrested on a preliminary charge of murder, according to the newspaper. Brown and a second person injured in the crash were hospitalized and in custody with non-life-threatening injuries.
Jason Brown, faces a preliminary charge of murder. The other occupant in the vehicle has not yet been identified.
Police said the initial call came in Thursday afternoon for a property-damage accident. Allan and a Southport officer were first on scene. The two officers approached an overturned car. That’s when police say someone inside started shooting at officers, hitting Allan. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
Some witness said they heard as many as 20 shots fired.
Jason Brown allegedly, shot and killed Lt Allan while trapped upside down. Those who know Brown said the tattoo artist ” lives for three things: tattoos, skateboarding and his son”
Brown shot the officer who was lending a helping hand, even as he was trapped in the crashed vehicle
“You show up to a vehicle accident and I don’t want to say we let our guard down, but that’s not what we are looking for,” Southport Police Chief Thomas Vaughn said, according to WISH.
“We are looking to help that person in the car. It is hard to imagine why this incident happened when he was there to help that person who was in that accident.”
Allan, 38, had nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience, according to Vaughn. He was a six-year veteran of the department.
Memorial for Lt. Aaron Allan. A toy bear sits on the hood of slain officer’s squad car. Allan’s nickname was “Teddy Bear”
“Lieutenant Allan was a hard worker, and today was no different. He responded to a crash with urgency to preserve life. Tragically, his was lost,” Vaughn said at Thursday’s press conference.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett called Allan’s death “a shocking and tragic reminder of the difficult, often dangerous work of police officers.”
Allan had previously told a local newspaper that he wanted to be an officer ever since he was a child, according to the Star. Vaughn said Allan’s nickname was “Teddy Bear.”
Police in Southport, Ind., investigate the crime scene
Aaron “Teddy Bear” Allan [right], receives an award
“That’s because he tried to act real macho, but when a citizen or someone needed help, he was one of the first guys that was there,” Vaughn said, according to the Star. “He didn’t always like that nickname, but it fit him.”
Local resident Bryan McGary told WXIN that the shooting was unusual for the area of Southport, an enclave within the city limits of Indianapolis.
“It’s just hard to believe that this would happen here,” McGary told the station. “I mean I’ve lived here since 1976 and we really haven’t had much … We do have a lot of policemen in our area that live here so it’s just one of those things.”
Shooter Brown’s criminal history shows four infractions and one misdemeanor on his record. The 2013 misdemeanor was a charge of possession of marijuana or a synthetic cannabinoid. He was found guilty and sentenced to 30 days in a county jail.
However, A woman who has known Jason Brown [right], says that the suspect who is a tattoo artist at a south side parlor, is not an aggressive individual, but rather ‘ shy and timid.’
“He’s not strung out on drugs,” Traci Wagner said. “He doesn’t drink. So where this all came into play, I have no idea.”
On Brown’s Facebook page, he frequently shares photos of tattoos he’s done, along with photos of his son.
“Jason lives for three things: tattoos, skateboarding and his son,” Wagner said.
Wagner said Brown is the only person whom she can yell at when he is in trouble who doesn’t yell back.
Brown did have a gun permit and was known to carry a weapon, but he didn’t flash it, Wagner said.
One photo Brown recently shared on his Facebook page shows a gun with the text, “Why do I carry a pistol? Because my AR15 doesn’t fit in my pants.” The post has since been deleted