Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Officer John Buchanan was shot and killed as he attempted to make an arrest.
An auto theft suspect was in custody by two other officers at a nearby business when the man fled from them on foot. He went into the Beyer Hotel and forced its owner into a second-floor closet with him to hide.
When Officer Buchanan was alerted to where they were hiding, he ordered the suspect to surrender. The man fired two shots through the closet door, striking Officer Buchanan above the heart, killing him instantly before he fled again.
As other officers confronted the suspect at Illinois and New York streets, he was shot and wounded after attempting to fire at them with an empty gun. He was later found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to two to 21 years in prison. The man died in 1971.
Officer Buchanan was survived by his wife.
• Officer Buchanan is the third known African-American law enforcement line of duty death in Indiana.
The responsibilities of the Indianapolis Police Department (1854–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.