(Story from the Star Reporter)
Indianapolis police officers were grieving and reeling Thursday as word spread through the force that two of their own were dead — a husband and wife who had separated, and died in a murder-suicide.
Sgt. Ryan Anders and officer Kim Carmack were found dead about 5:40 p.m. inside a home in the 2400 block of Irishmore Court, near West 21st Street and Country Club Road on the Far Westside. Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said the two died of gunshot wounds.
Riggs said that someone had called police for a welfare check at that home. Once SWAT officers were at the scene but before they entered the home, police learned that a neighbor heard gunshots earlier that day, Riggs said. Police are unsure how long Anders and Carmack had been dead before they were found.
Carmack had obtained a protective order against Anders, and he was on administrative leave because of a domestic-violence issue, Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite said at a news conference. The couple’s divorce was finalized last October, court records show.
“We had concerns about both of them,” Hite said. “They were counseled. They were given directions, and we also were made aware of his (Anders’) whereabouts.”
In addition, Anders’ department-issued weapons had been taken from him, although it was not clear when that happened. Riggs said it is standard procedure to temporarily take away the firearm of an officer being investigated for domestic violence accusations.
Anders had been offered help and his whereabouts were being monitored with technology, which Hite did not describe.
But the scene at the home showed the determination involved: A door was forced open, Hite said.
“That speaks volumes.”
Anders had been on the department for nine years and was promoted to sergeant in 2011; Carmack had been with the department for 20 years and, among other positions, had worked as an undercover vice officer.
Carmack’s son is IMPD Officer Dustin Carmack, Riggs said. Dustin Carmack was shot in the leg in 2011 while on duty. A suspect was later arrested and convicted.
Mayor Greg Ballard somberly expressed his condolences at a hastily called news conference at the City-County Building with Hite and Riggs.
After the formal comments at Thursday night’s news conference, Riggs said that while he did not know the specific circumstances of the situation, mental-health issues and domestic violence are among the dangers that confront some police officers — just as they do people throughout society.
However, the stresses on officers can be intense and mount, and the department is continuing to urge officers to seek help if they need it, Riggs said.
There has been, among many police officers, a reticence to seek mental-health assistance — similar to many in the military — because of the stigma attached, Riggs said.
Progress is being made, but work remains, he said.
“It’s always a reality when you’ve got so many Type-A personalities who are used to being in charge,” Riggs said. But, he noted that all officers find information about available assistance as soon as they log on to their work computers.
“They see that every day,” Riggs said.
Riggs said chaplains were being made available to IMPD officers, and the Fraternal Order of Police lodge also was assisting its members.
“We have over 1,500 police officers,” Riggs said. “All of them have been touched.”
Additional information was expected to be released this morning.
Hite asked that the public and media be patient as police investigated.
“Right now we are a grieving police department, a grieving family.”
Star reports Bill McCleery and Kristine Guerra contributed to this story.
Star reporter Diana Penner