07/29/2012

Ind. officer ambushed, suspect killed

A Fortville officer was shot in the head and wrist in what police described as one of two ambush-style attacks on officers

The Indy Channel

LAWRENCE, Ind. — A Fortville police officer was shot in the head and wrist in Lawrence late Friday night in what police described as one of two ambush-style attacks on officers.

IMPD spokesman Kendale Adams said Fortville K9 Officer Matt Fox, 29, was attempting to perform a traffic stop 800 North Carroll Road in Lawrence about 11:30 p.m., but the suspect wouldn't stop.

The stop was eventually made at 7817 High View Drive, but before Fox could get out of the vehicle, the suspect ambushed him with gunfire from a high-powered weapon, police said.

"Before you know it, you just heard a rumbling of gunshots. I mean, there was probably at least 75 to 100 rounds shot over there," said witness Mike Lopez.

Fox was hit in the wrist area and the bullet ricocheted and hit in his head. His bulletproof vest stopped a shot to the chest, sources told RTV6.

"As assisting officers were arriving, the now injured officer was able to provide a description of the suspect and the vehicle he was driving," said Indianapolis police spokesman Officer Kendale Adams.

The suspect then fled in a white Volvo into nearby apartment complex Grand Reserve. There was no other way in or out of the complex, so Indianapolis police and Lawrence police set up outside the complex to wait for the suspect to come out.

The suspect then drove out of the complex, struck an Indianapolis police car, exited his vehicle and began firing shots from a high-powered automatic weapon at officers, Adams said.

Officers from Indianapolis and Lawrence returned fire, striking and killing the suspect, who was later identified as James Lockhart III, 27, of Indianapolis.

IMPD Officer Andrew Branham was grazed by a bullet. He was treated at the scene early Saturday morning and released.

A Lawrence K9 named Danny was still in his kennel and was wounded in the shooting. He was treated and released Saturday.

Fox was taken to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, where sources told RTV6 he was originally listed in serious but stable condition. He was upgraded to good condition Saturday afternoon, police said.

Police said Lockhart was previously arrested in 2004 on suspicion of battery, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana.

"This individual had no regard for life," Adams said.

Neighbors were shocked by the violence.

"You see all these things and you're like, 'Wow. How do people act like this?'" Jamie Stearley said.

Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call 317-327-3475.

Reprinted with permission from The Indy Channel

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