East side church prays for wounded IMPD officer

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeDavid H. Moore

An Indianapolis church is praying for the Metro police officer shot in the line of duty and didn't have to wait until Sunday services.

"I gave a personal prayer, private prayer as I saw the officer there," said Rev. Harry Spigner, pastor of Jones Tabernacle AME Zion Church.

Sunday's attack on I.M.P.D. Officer David Moore happened a few dozen yards from Rev. Spigner's office window.

"The sound came right into this window," Spigner said.

Rev. Spigner was preparing his sermon for the 9:30 a.m. service but his thoughts were interrupted by what he quickly learned was a violent tragedy with an officer near death and his fellow officers shaken as they did their work. He kept his distance for a few moments while officers responded to the crisis. The he spoke to them.

"Some of the officers came and they had feelings they were trying to deal with," Spigner said.

That ministering had to happen with Rev. Spigner's own flock, which it did, half an hour later. It was nothing like the sermon he'd planned on giving.

"None of what we normally do did we did yesterday. The service really surrounded the activity, what had happened to Officer Moore. We opened with a prayer for him, his family, also for the perpetrator, we pray for this community."

A day after the sheer brutality that played out on the street, there's nothing there to suggest what actually happened. Few neighbors opened their door when reporters knocked.

Carter Shackleford, a retired police officer lives one block north of the crime scene. He described the quiet neighborhood as mostly free from crime.

"Very small in this neighborhood," Shackleford said. "I lived here several years without even needing a key for the front door."

And the neighbors we talked to, none said it's the kind of violence they're used to on this street.

Just the same, Shackleford said he encountered Officer Moore arresting a carjacking suspect in his driveway two weeks ago. Now, knowing his life is in the balance, his thoughts are with the officer who's near-fatal encountered happened exactly one block south of here.

"My first thought was I wish it would have been closer and perhaps I could have done something to help him."

For the congregation around the corner, help is now happening with prayer.

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