A “timid” tattoo artist shot and killed a Southport, Indiana police officer who was trying to untangle his body from the wreckage of a car crash, law enforcement officials say. Southport is a suburb of Indianapolis.
Jason Brown, 28, was involved in a single-car crash where the vehicle overturned on Thursday. Lt. Aaron Allan, 38, was trying to help the people trapped inside the car, including Brown, when he was shot.
Witnesses to the car crash told police investigators shots were fired from inside the vehicle while the Southport police Lt. Allan was attempting to rescue the occupants who were dangling upside down in their seat belts. The car was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed near Maynard Drive and Madison Avenue when it flipped over and hit the median divider.
Traci Wagner told RTV6 reporters that she had known Jason Brown his entire life. Wagner claims Brown was both a shy and timid man and not the kind of person anyone would think would ever be linked to a violent crime of any kind.
“Jason lives for three things: tattoos, skateboarding, and his son,” Wagner added.
The tattoo artist was not someone who went out looking for or started trouble, according to his old friend.
This is a photo of Lt. Aaron Allen walking his son to the bus stop hours before he was killed in the line of duty. Teared up looking at this pic.twitter.com/tJRNEaTWjJ
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) July 29, 2017
Jason Brown’s social media pages appear to indicate he also had an interest in firearms. In one photo posted to Instagram, the Indiana tattoo artist is shown posing with pistols in each hand. In a Facebook status update, Brown reportedly posted that he carries a handgun because AR15 semi-automatic rifles won’t fit in his pants.
Three days before Lt. Aaron Allan was shot to death, Jason Brown authored another social media post which expressed an interest in bartering his tattoo services for vehicles, electronics, or “bang bangs.” When a commentator asked what he meant by his clever phrasing, Brown replied simply, “A gun.”
Brown’s only arrests prior to the police shooting involved one misdemeanor and four civil charges, and a 2013 possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid bust. The Springport tattoo artist spent 30 days in an Indiana county jail after being found guilty on the drug charge.
Traci Wagner believes “something” had to have happened to trigger such a horrific and out-0f-character response from Brown. Wagner thinks possibly something happened during the wreck to cause such a drastic action, she added maybe the tattoo artist was being chased by someone.
Meet Jason Brown, just killed police officer Lt. Aaron Allen, Indiana. Trump must want more police killings by egging on police violence. pic.twitter.com/iCMjr8tV8r
— Jana Blade (@JanaBlade1) July 28, 2017
Julian Dewbrew witnessed the accident. She told WTHR reporters Lt. Aaron Allan, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy also saw the wreck and stopped to help.
Dewbrew said, “All you see is, like, a bullet go and look like it hit their car. It almost hit our car if we didn’t back up.”
While the Southport police officer was being shot, other drivers were pulling over to help with what they believed was merely a bad car crash and not a murder scene. Homecroft Police Department officers who rushed to the scene were firing back at the vehicle Brown was in as the good Samaritans were rushing toward the car. The Indiana police officers were forced to respond to the ongoing threat inside the car while at the same time keeping citizens safely out of the line of fire.
One of the individuals in the car was hit when the police returned fire. It is not yet known if it was Jason Brown or another person who was wounded by the round. Both Brown and an unidentified person were hospitalized with crash related injuries, only one of the individuals was admitted with a gunshot wound.
No charges have yet been filed against the unidentified individual. Both marijuana possession and murder charges have now been levied against the Indiana tattoo artist.
Lt. Aaron Allan was a member of the police force for 20 years. He is survived by his wife of many years and their children.
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