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Shots fired by police in Indiana Toll Road chase

The shooting — which is being investigated by state police — began as a traffic stop.

A teenage boy was shot Nov. 29, 2020, in South Shore.
The shooting — which is being investigated by state police — began as a traffic stop.
Adobe Stock Photo

A deputy and two state troopers fired shots at a carjacking suspect who drove towards them in a stolen maintenance truck Wednesday in northwest Indiana.

Three males were in custody following the incident on the Indiana Toll Road near Valparaiso, Indiana State Police said in a statement.

The shooting — which is being investigated by state police — began as a traffic stop.

About 2:35 p.m., a Valparaiso police officer tried to pull over a vehicle that matched the description of a one used in recent car thefts, state police said.

Instead, the vehicle took off on Calumet Avenue and went north on State Route 49.

The vehicle entered the toll road at the Valparaiso exit and drove west until it crashed about three miles away near mile marker 27.8, state police said. Three males fled on foot into the woods near County Road 200 West.

Officers chased them on foot and took two into custody without incident, state police said.

The third suspect got back onto the Toll Road and was spotted by a state maintenance worker directing traffic near the original crash, state police said.

The suspect tried to enter an occupied vehicle stopped in traffic, but was unsuccessful and went to an unoccupied maintenance truck, state police said. The maintenance worker approached the suspect, grabbed him by the shirt and told him he couldn’t take the truck, but the suspect put the truck in reverse and hit the gas.

As the suspect backed up, he drove toward the maintenance worker and officers who were closing in on foot, state police said. A Porter County sheriff’s deputy and two Indiana State troopers then fired shots, but it was unclear if the suspect was struck.

The suspect put the truck into drive and went a short distance west before crashing into another semitrailer, state police said. He got out of the truck, jumped a median and fled on foot onto County Road 200 West below the toll road, where he was arrested.

The suspect was taken to Northlake Methodist Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, state police said.

Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Ted Bohner said the suspect suffered a wound, but it was unclear if it was a gunshot wound or caused by debris. The ages of the three suspects have not been released.

Indiana State Police will investigate the use of force and report its findings to the Porter County prosecutor’s office, state police said in the statement.

The Porter County sheriff’s office said in a statement that one of its officers involved in the shooting was placed on paid administrative leave. The officer has been a patrolman with the sheriff’s office for three years, according to the statement.