I live in the Spring Creek neighborhood on the northeast side of Carmel. On July 27, I witnessed a horrific shooting of a woman by her boyfriend on a neighbor’s side lawn. It was without question the most disturbing thing I have seen in my 57 years on this earth. I felt powerless as I was on the phone with the 911 operator who told me to stay inside and lock my doors.
The Carmel police responded promptly, though not in time to save my neighbor who was shot more than four times at close range. They were in the neighborhood within minutes, and I watched one of the first officers on the scene chase the shooter through my backyard and heard their violent encounter on the adjacent street just out of my view.
I was struck by the courage it takes to be a police officer in this day and in this country with the proliferation of handguns, increasing domestic violence as we are shut in and lack of treatment of mental illness in our society. This officer, who I do not know, ran without backup and without hesitation into a firefight with an armed and disturbed individual which eventually led to the shooter’s death. I and my neighbors are very grateful for that officer’s bravery and actions that day. We also are thankful for the prompt response of all the Carmel and Westfield police and EMTs who were in our neighborhood in minutes and ensured that we were safe and protected the crime scene for their investigation.
It is not a popular time to be a police officer. It is a selfless and mainly thankless job in any time. No one becomes a cop for the money. No one becomes a cop for the luxury perks of the job. Yes, there are policies that need to be addressed to reduce racial profiling and disparities. Yes, we can and should always look to improve transparency and training methods. But let’s not forget that we are starting with a group of brave, selfless men and women who are in our communities because they want to protect and serve. Thanks to all who sacrifice to keep us safe and, in particular, those that responded bravely on July 27.
George Huntley, Carmel