The Indianapolis community laid to rest Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer David Moore Tuesday. The 29-year-old died Jan. 26 from injuries sustained from multiple gunshot wounds suffered on Jan. 23 in the line of duty.
For the country, Moore’s death was part of a gruesome string of unrelated law enforcement shootings. CNN reported 11 U.S. officers were shot in a 24-hour period between Jan. 24-25.
For the city, his death uncovered a mistake by the Indiana Department of Corrections when spokesperson Doug Garrison said the man accused of shooting Moore, 60-year-old Thomas Hardy, should not have been released from prison after a November arrest.
But for Butler University Police Chief Ben Hunter and Deputy Police Chief Andrew Ryan, his death brought back memories of his life and the loss of another.
“It’s just a void,” Hunter, a former IMPD officer, said. “He truly epitomizes professionalism and integrity. Anytime you lose a colleague, especially someone who works in a department that you’ve been on, it pains you.”
Hunter said the last time he talked to Moore was three weeks ago when he and the officer worked together before a game at Hinkle Fieldhouse doing a bomb sweep, one of the common ways the BUPD works with IMPD.
“I walked with him and we had a chance to talk,” Hunter said. “It’s police stuff. And anybody that walks Hinkle doing the pre-sweep with me always talks about last year’s magic run to the Final Four. I remember a little conversation about that.”
Hunter said he has known the Moore family for the majority of his career. David’s father, Spencer, is a retired IMPD lieutenant and gave him his first assignment when Hunter first got promoted from a patrolman to a sergeant.
David’s mother, Jo, a sergeant, worked frequently with Hunter because their districts were next to each other.
“IMPD’s a big department, but you get to know pockets of individuals throughout,” Hunter said. “He’s a good kid. He epitomizes everything great about a law enforcement tradition. Mom and dad are police officers, he went that route and he was a great police officer. I mean, he was Rookie of the Year.”
Ryan said Moore’s death in some ways reminded him of the 2004 death of his former BUPD employee, James Davis, who was shot and killed with his own handgun on Butler’s campus.
“That day changed my life,” Ryan said. “It was like a whirl wind. I experienced something I never thought I’d experience. I was living through the death of one of my employees.
“We lost him and we can never replace him and that’s tragic. But I remember then I hoped that James’ death wasn’t in vain and I remember hoping that some good would come out of it.
“Throughout that course of events, I made friendships and forged new relationships. I never knew his family before that and I view that as a positive thing that never would have happened if it hadn’t been for the tragedy of Davis.”
Although Moore didn’t work for BUPD, Ryan said many of the officers have gone on runs with him, and that he hopes his officers can learn something from Moore’s death.
“Anytime there’s an officer killed or hurt in the line of duty, I’m hoping there’s something we can take out of that,” Ryan said. “With this hitting so close to home, I hope it’s reminding the staff that they can’t become too complacent.
We need to be aware of people who want to do us harm.”
Ryan said the past week has also made him realize how dangerous the officers’ jobs are.
“We can try to avoid situations like this, but there are some things you just can’t prevent,” Ryan said. “We can’t take anything for granted and we always have to be diligent and vigilant.”
Although Ryan said he hopes something good will come out of this, it doesn’t change the fact that Moore’s death is tragic.
“It’s very senseless and tragic and I have a hard time processing why this happened,” Ryan said. “No one should be taken from the prime of his life like that.”
In spite of the icy weather, Moore’s funeral was held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Conseco Fieldhouse downtown. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Public Safety Director Frank Straub and Police Chief Paul Ciesielski were in attendance.
Moore’s father delivered the eulogy.
Hunter helped spearhead plans for a reception for Moore’s family and colleagues for Tuesday evening. A BUPD officer reported the event was canceled Tuesday because of inclement weather conditions.
Moore will be buried in the Heroes of Public Safety section of Crown Hill Cemetary near the IMPD Time Capsule, the inscription on which he helped write.
Sara Pruzin contributed to this article.