Armed Suspect Shot by Shelbyville Police Officers;
Suspect Reported to be in Critical Condition

Shelbyville, IN – Detectives from the Indiana State Police Criminal Investigation Division were called to investigate a shooting involving an armed suspect and three Shelbyville City police officers. The suspect, identified as Lyman Dawson, 22 of Shelbyville, fired at the officers at least one time. The three officers returned fire, striking Dawson multiple times. This all occurred north of the intersection of Colescott and Harrison Street (Harrison Street is also known as State Road 9), which is several blocks south of the downtown Shelbyville Circle. Dawson was transported to Methodist Hospital, by helicopter, and was listed in critical condition as of 5:00 this morning. Dawson’s immediate family has been notified.

Chief Keith England of the Shelbyville City Police Department requested the Indiana State Police conduct this investigation involving two different shootings and multiple crime scene locations spanning several blocks.

Since responding to the scene, preliminary investigation by state police detectives, with assistance from City of Shelbyville police officers, has determined that Dawson was allegedly interrupted while attempting to break into a car parked at the Family Video store at the southwest corner of Colescott and Harrison Street. After being interrupted, Dawson fled on foot and followed the residents of the 10 hundred block of Colescott into their driveway as they were pulling their car into the drive. There was some verbal exchange between Dawson and the residents at which time Dawson is alleged to have drawn a semi-automatic pistol and started firing, possibly three times, in indiscriminate directions. Dawson then fled this location and allegedly broke into a home in the 700 block of Elm Street, startling the residents and then fleeing from the house back toward Harrison Street.

On Harrison Street Dawson is alleged to have shot Ryan Rooks (no age available) who was in his upstairs apartment in the 700 block of Harrison Street. Rooks is reported to have yelled toward Dawson asking what all the noise was about, which is when Dawson raised his pistol and shot toward Rooks, striking him in the leg, resulting in a non-lethal wound. Dawson then fled this scene and allegedly broke the basement window of another home in the 700 block of Harrison Street, after which he entered the home and exited the home by breaking out another basement window.

It was at this time Dawson encountered the three City of Shelbyville police officers and allegedly opened fire on them with at least one shot fired toward the officers who did return fire.

Due to the extensive size of the crime scene, and multiple residences affected, Harrison Street is anticipated to remain closed from the intersection of Colescott on north for about three blocks for crime scene processing. It is anticipated the roadway will remain closed until sometime on the afternoon of January 8th.

As part of the scene processing, state police crime scene investigators are thoroughly checking each involved home as well as attempting to collect shell casings from Dawson’s semi-automatic pistol and shell casings from the officers who shot at and struck Dawson.

The involved officers have been placed on Paid Administrative Leave in accordance with City of Shelbyville policies.

State police investigators have been assisted by City of Shelbyville Police Department officers and the Sheriff of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and his deputies along with assistance from the Morristown Marshal.

Investigations of this nature can take weeks to complete. Once finished, the investigation will be submitted to the Shelby County Prosecutor’s office for review and action as deemed appropriate.

Questions about this ongoing investigation should be directed to Captain David Bursten of the Indiana State Police Public Information Office.

No further information is available at this time.


All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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