State court offices, law firm on lockdown after shots fired in Indianapolis

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A lone gunman caused downtown Indianapolis – including Indiana State Court Administration offices and law firm Barnes & Thornburg – to be on lockdown today.

The gunman was atop a South Meridian Street parking garage when he fired "indiscriminate" shots into the air Thursday afternoon before shooting himself and falling to the sidewalk below, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police spokesman Lt. Jeff Duhamell said.

Officers were called to the Denison Parking garage just north of Maryland Street about 2:20 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired. Several witnesses told police they saw an individual on the eighth floor of the parking garage armed with two handguns.

"He fired a couple indiscriminate shots in the air" before turning a gun on himself, Duhamell said.

The man was identified only as a white male in his late 40s or early 50s.

Neighboring businesses were locked down as a precaution, he said, after initial reports indicated there were two shooters. A police sharpshooter had his rifle trained on the parking garage roof until investigators determined the gunman was acting alone.

Meridian Street was closed between Washington and Maryland streets while crime scene investigators worked.

Attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg were huddled in their offices at 11 S. Meridian as police tried to sort out the situation. Though attorneys didn’t know what was happening outside, they were told not to go outside and to stay away from the external walls – which were penetrated by two bullets, according to partner Don Knebel.

Knebel told Indiana Lawyer that the firm decided about 3:30 p.m. to send an e-mail alerting employees about the situation, and that they should move to the center of the building. Knebel was inside a conference room with about nine other attorneys, who were receiving news updates from their BlackBerries.

Indiana Supreme Court public information officer Kathryn Dolan, who has an office in the 30 S. Meridian building across from the parking garage, said several people in the Division of State Court Administration heard the gunshots and saw the man shoot himself and then fall from the garage.

Police told them they couldn’t enter the garage for a few hours and were being kept from leaving the building onto South Meridian. Court employees were told they could leave early through another exit, and the division would them connect with counseling if they needed it, Dolan said.

“It’s been a difficult afternoon,” she said.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.