06/19/2007

Teen uses sniper rifle to kill one Ind. deputy, critically wound another

The Associated Press
Read Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff Frank Denzinger

GEORGETOWN, Ind. — A 15-year-old boy ambushed two sheriff's deputies with a World War II sniper rifle, fatally wounding one and seriously injuring the other before killing himself.


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The shooter, Tyler Dumstorf, was found early today inside the home, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said that minutes after the shooting, Dumstorf posted a message on his MySpace page that said, "I just killed two cops. Goodbye.''

The deputies had gone to the southern Indiana home Monday evening to investigate a call from the teen's mother about a confrontation with her son.

"There was nothing to indicate to the officers that it was anything more than a routine domestic call,'' Henderson said.

As the officers were talking to his mother and aunt in the driveway, the boy started firing from an upstairs window, Henderson said.

Deputy Frank Denzinger, a four-year veteran of the sheriff's department, died hours after the shooting, Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said. Deputy Joel White, who has been with the department 17 months, had been upgraded to serious condition at a hospital, Mills said.

Each deputy was struck once in the back, Henderson said. White returned fire, but none of his shots hit Dumstorf, Henderson said.

The weapon Dumstorf used was a World War II relic known as an M1 Garand that is mostly a showpiece. Henderson said the boy's father bought the gun some time ago and that he and his son shot it during target practice.

"He knew how to fire the weapon,'' said Henderson, who referred to the deputies as "sitting ducks.''

The teen, who had just completed his freshman year at Floyd Central High School in nearby Floyds Knobs, was due in court today on a misdemeanor marijuana charge, Henderson said. The charge was part of the discussion between the teen and his mother, Henderson said.

Superintendent Dennis Brooks of the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. pledged to cooperate fully with police.

"I do not know why the student did what he did,'' Brooks said during a brief news conference Tuesday.

Dumstorf's MySpace page showed the teen liked classic rock including The Doors, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones and Guns N' Roses, whose song ``Sweet Child O' Mine'' is playing on the site. Postings on the page indicated he was an honor roll student.

Denzinger was married with a young child, Mills said.

White is married with two young children. Mills said it was too soon to tell whether he could return to active duty.

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