INDIANAPOLIS – Tragejo Harris, 28, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, on April 29, 2021, officers responded to reports of a person firing multiple gunshots from a moving car in the vicinity of the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood of Indianapolis. Police found a vehicle parked on the street that appeared to have been struck by multiple bullets. Harris’ girlfriend stated that she and her child were inside her home when Harris fired multiple shots at her parked car after an argument.
The next day, officers found Harris’s car at a gas station. When officers attempted to approach Harris, he fled and led police on a high-speed chase on the streets of Indianapolis exceeding speeds of 97 miles per hour. Officers lost sight of the vehicle after three miles.
On May 4, 2021, an undercover detective exchanged messages with Harris, who indicated that he planned to flee to Illinois. The detective, in an undercover capacity, arranged to meet Harris in person before he left town. On May 6, 2021, Harris arrived at the pre-arranged meeting location. Harris recognized police and fled by car again. Harris drove across a field, through a ditch, and onto Binford Boulevard at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Harris abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Officers found Harris hiding in a nearby building and arrested him. During an interview with police, Harris admitted to shooting his girlfriend’s car and fleeing from police. Harris also told police he had his four-year-old daughter in the car during the first police chase on April 30, 2021.
Harris lied to the police and claimed he sold the firearm used in the shooting. Police later located Harris’s gun under a potted plant near where Harris abandoned the vehicle after the second chase. That firearm matched the shell casings retrieved from the April 29th shooting at the car. Harris is a convicted felon who is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. Harris was also on parole for armed robbery at the time of this offense.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Columbus Field Division; and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Randal Taylor made the announcement.
ATF and IMPD investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Magnus-Stinson ordered that Harris be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelsey Massa who prosecuted this case.
This case was brought as part of the LEATH Initiative (Law Enforcement Action to Halt Domestic Violence), named in honor of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Breann Leath, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call. A partnership among the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the IMPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the LEATH Initiative focuses federal, state, and local law enforcement resources on domestic violence offenders who illegally possess firearms.
Additionally, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.