Additional officers carried officer from second floor
By ALICIA GALLEGOS
South Bend Tribune Staff Writer
Officer Down: Corporal Nick Polizzotto
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The gunman who fatally shot a South Bend police officer this morning was reportedly shooting erratically at signs near a local nightclub before wounding the officers at the door of his Wooden Indian Motel room.
Cpl. Nick Polizzotto and Patrolman Michael Norby were originally responding to a shots-fired call after the suspect was seen shooting outside the motel, according to information presented at a press conference this afternoon.
The officers had knocked on the door of the suspect’s second-floor unit and were talking to the man when he suddenly opened fire, authorities said.
Although both officers were wearing standard bulletproof vests, authorities said bullets penetrated an area of Polizzotto’s vest where he was not protected. He later died from his injuries.
Norby has been treated and released from a local hospital, they said.
Authorities would not say where the men were injured or how many times they were shot.
Officers Jim Sweeney and Nick Zarate were at the scene shortly after Norby and Polizzotto arrived and returned fire at the suspect along with Norby.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have still not released the suspect’s identity pending next-of-kin notification.
Additional responding officers David Newton and Antoine Jones reportedly carried Polizzotto from the second-floor balcony to the paramedics on Lincoln Way East, a release said.
The incident happened about 1:37 a.m. at the motel at 1631 Lincoln Way E., according to reports.
More than 50 emergency units responded to the scene. Members of the South Bend SWAT team had cleared all the rooms at the motel in a search for additional victims as of about 3:15 a.m., according to police.
The man’s body lay on the second-floor balcony of the Wooden Indian as dawn broke today, while investigators searched for evidence.
Polizzotto was a nine-year veteran with department.
Norby has been with the department for almost two years. The Buchanan resident was sworn in in 2005.
Copyright 2007 South Bend Tribune
Gunman shoots from motel room: Officer dies of gunshot wounds, Ind.