Officer Involved Shooting/Attempted Murder Arrest
On May 22nd, around 2:00 a.m., two Evansville Police Officers, who were working off-duty at The Corner Pocket Bar, heard shots being fired outside in the 1800 block of N Fulton Ave. The Officers observed several individuals crowded together and appeared to be physically fighting. One of the officers saw an individual with a handgun in his hand. The officer walked toward the individual and announced himself. The suspect ran away from the officer as the officer continued to give loud, verbal, commands for him to stop.
During the foot pursuit, the suspect turned around and fired at least one shot at the officer. The officer took protective actions and returned fire but did not strike the suspect. The suspect continued to run away. The officers briefly lost sight of the suspect. The Officers gave a description of the suspect over the radio to other officers in the area. The officer described the suspect as a black male with a black hoodie, white Air Forces, and black jeans. 17-year-old Denali Thomas was stopped by EPD Officers in the immediate area because he matched the description that was given over the radio. Thomas was wearing a black hoodie, dark pants, and white Air Force One shoes. Thomas was identified by the Officers to be the shooter. He was taken into custody without further incident.
EPD Crime Scene Detectives located multiple shell casings in the grassy area outside the Corner Pocket Bar. They also located numerous shell casings in the area of the foot pursuit, consistent with the statements given by officers. A firearm was also located laying in the street near the intersection of Florence St. and the alley where the suspect ran. Another firearm was also located in the area.
Since Thomas is a juvenile, he was taken to EPD Headquarters to meet with detectives and his guardian for an interview. Thomas refused to give a statement. At no point, even with a guardian present, did Thomas ever deny being involved in the shooting. Thomas was charged with Attempted Murder and was waived to adult court due to the nature of the charges. Thomas was transported and booked into the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center on May 22nd.
During the course of the investigation, the lead Detective assigned to the case was reviewing video footage from multiple sources. This morning, around 4:00 a.m., the detective, who was reviewing surveillance video, noticed that the suspect who ran and shot at the officer had an image/logo on his black hoodie. The image was not initially noticed on the other surveillance videos. After closer review, the detective realized that Thomas’ black hoodie did not have that specific image/logo on it.
The detective immediately contacted his supervisor and the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office to notify them that he did not believe that Thomas was the correct suspect and he needed to be released as soon as possible.
The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office filed an Order to Release from Custody this morning and contacted Thomas’ family to notify them. Thomas was released from the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center this morning and charges were dropped in reference to this investigation.
Detectives have identified the suspect as 32-year-old Randall Hood. Hood was in the immediate area of the Officer Involved Shooting incident on the morning of May 22nd. He was located hiding in the backyard of a residence after the shots fired. Officers located him and found narcotics on his person but he was not believed to be the shooter at that time. Hood was arrested that morning for Dealing Controlled Substances/Cocaine/Narcotic Drug. Hood has been in the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center since May 22nd on those charges.
This afternoon, Detectives notified Hood that he is being charged with Attempted Murder in reference to this investigation and he remains at the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center