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Officer Fatally Shot While Trying To Help People In A Crashed Car Near Indianapolis

A police officer attempting to help at the scene of a car accident was fatally shot, apparently by an occupant of the vehicle, near Indianapolis on Thursday.

Lt. Aaron Allan, a six-year veteran of the Southport Police Department with almost 20 years in law enforcement, was pronounced dead at Eskenazi Hospital, said Sgt. Kendale Adams of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at a press conference, according to the Associated Press.

The Indianapolis Star reports Allan was responding to a report of a flipped car around 3 p.m. Thursday when one of the vehicle's occupants opened fire, hitting Allan. Two other officers, one of whom was off-duty, were nearby and both returned fire, authorities said. One of the car's occupants was hit and both were taken to the same hospital as Allan. They were treated and kept in police custody.

Officials provided no information as to why the car's occupant allegedly opened fire. The names of the people in the crashed vehicle were not immediately made available.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement: "Today, Lt. Aaron Allan was doing what officers do each day: responding to the scene of an accident to help someone in their time of need. His death is a shocking and tragic reminder of the difficult, often dangerous work of police officers across Marion County."

Allan was awarded the Officer of the Year award in 2015, according to the Southside Times. He told the local paper he had "wanted to be a cop since I was 5 years old."

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Chris Benderev is a founding producer of and also reports stories for NPR's documentary-style podcast, Embedded. He's driven into coal mines, watched as a town had to shutter its only public school after 100 years in operation, and, recently, he's followed the survivors of a mass shooting for two years to understand what happens after they fade from the news. He's also investigated the pseudoscience behind a national chain of autism treatment facilities. As a producer, he's made stories about ISIS, voting rights and Donald Trump's business history. Earlier in his career, he was a producer at NPR's Weekend Edition, Morning Edition, Hidden Brain and the TED Radio Hour.

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