COLUMBUS – The investigation into the officer-involved shooting early Sunday morning continues, however, investigators have released the following information.
Early Sunday morning Sergeant Lukas Nibarger, a seven-year veteran with the Columbus Police Department, responded to a residence in the 3000 block of Grove Parkway to investigate a suspicious person on the property. Upon arriving at the residence, he encountered a man later identified as 38-year-old Jacob Dale Rice, of Columbus.
Rice ignored the officer’s verbal commands and attempted to flee on foot. Sgt. Nibarger chased Rice into the backyard of the residence where he again gave verbal commands for Rice to stop.
Investigators believe Rice fired one round from a firearm towards Sgt. Nibarger. The officer was not struck and was able to return fire with his department-issued handgun striking Rice one time.
Sgt. Nibarger called for an ambulance and began providing medical attention to Rice. The ambulance arrived within minutes and took over medical treatment. Rice was transported to the Columbus Municipal Airport where a medical helicopter was waiting to transport him to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Rice remains in the hospital and is still listed in critical condition.
The investigation revealed Rice had stolen the firearm used in the shooting from a car in the Columbus area before his interaction with Sgt. Nibarger. Investigators do not believe Rice was able to make entry into the residence before being confronted by the officer.
The investigation is still ongoing. The Indiana State Police will forward their report to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor when completed.