Auto theft leads to man shot by police

An incident that started with a man reporting that his car was stolen in Franklin by a man he had been trying to help ended 90 minutes later when a suspect was shot during a confrontation with Indianapolis police.

The suspect, Jacob Wessel, 31, of Indianapolis, remained hospitalized following the Thursday night ordeal that started in a Franklin parking lot. Police said he will face charges relating to firearms, auto theft, possession of narcotics and resisting law enforcement.

He had pointed a gun at police, who had been looking for him because of a car stolen in Franklin.

A Franklin man told police that he and his wife had been trying to help Wessel, whom they had assisted in the past, according to a Franklin police report. Wessel had come back to their home in recent weeks.

Wessel was with the man when he went to visit his wife about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. While the man was inside the office on U.S. 31, Wessel left in his vehicle.

The vehicle owner was concerned that Wessel was suicidal and the owner had his gun in the vehicle, the report said. He gave Franklin police some ideas about where Wessel might be headed.

About 6 p.m., Indianapolis Metropolitan Police found him just south of downtown Indianapolis. Wessel ran, Indianapolis police said in a news release.

Officers were holding him at gunpoint in a backyard and telling him to get on the ground, but Wessel pulled out a gun and started to raise it toward police. The officers fired, and Wessel was shot at least one time. He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital.

Wessel was arrested earlier this year after police said he tried to steal a car at a Greenwood gas station, even after the owner jumped into the car. During that January incident, Wessel told the woman to get out of the car or he would kill her, according to a police report. Police found him at another gas station and arrested him.

Michele Holtkamp is editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2774.