Indianapolis, Indiana – An incident of profound sorrow unfolded on the southwestern fringes of Indianapolis, when a law enforcement officer from the Indiana State Police, Trooper Aaron Smith, met with an untimely demise Wednesday evening. He was fatally struck by a suspect at the wheel of a stolen vehicle.
Trooper Smith, aged 33, was critically injured while attempting to deploy stop sticks during a car chase involving the stolen vehicle on Ronald Reagan Parkway at approximately 8:45 p.m., as articulated in a statement issued by the Indiana State Police. A five-year veteran of the force, Smith was swiftly transported to Eskenazi Hospital, where he tragically succumbed to his injuries.
Superintendent Doug Carter of the Indiana State Police held Trooper Smith in high esteem, stating, “This young trooper was the best of us. He was a shining star with the state police.” He further elaborated that Smith “was not pinned” by the vehicle but was “thrown through the air.
Carter went on to acknowledge that the sorrowful event marked a dark day for the Indiana State Police community. He committed to offering unwavering support to Smith’s bereaved family and friends, noting Smith is survived by a “young wife and a beautiful family.” In a poignant expression of solidarity, he admitted, “I would trade places [with Smith] if I could take away her pain.”
The superintendent also revealed that messages of condolence from city and national police leaders, including Governor Eric Holcomb, had been received. Nevertheless, he asked that attention be focused on supporting Smith’s family and fellow officers, expressing his concern for “these young troopers who were out there and saw this happen.
Details of the incident disclosed that several individuals were in the vehicle that struck Smith, including the driver, an adult, and a juvenile passenger. All three were hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening.
This devastating event echoes a similar incident from earlier this year. In March, Master Trooper James Bailey was fatally struck by a fleeing vehicle while attempting to deploy stop sticks on I-69 in Dekalb County.
In light of these successive tragedies, Superintendent Carter urged his officers and the community to persevere, underlining the importance of continuing to serve those who respect and appreciate their services.
As the investigation into Trooper Smith’s death continues, the Hendricks County Prosecutor will review all findings to determine potential additional charges. The inquiry involves numerous law enforcement agencies and is aided by dashcam footage and the eyewitness account of Smith’s shift partner.
Throughout his life, Trooper Smith was consistently dedicated to public service. He graduated from Whiteland High School in 2008 and earned a degree in aviation management from Indiana State University. His service also included membership in the Army National Guard in 2011, before his induction into the Indiana State Police in 2018.