Pursuit in Lake County ends in officer-involved shooting

LAKE CO. – Detectives from the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post are investigating an officer-involved shooting with the assistance of detectives from the Lowell Post that occurred on Cline Ave., just north of I-80 in Lake County.

A preliminary investigation revealed that this afternoon, just after 3:00 p.m., the Indiana State Police received the report of a possible theft that had occurred in Homewood, IL. While searching for the suspect vehicle, Porter Police Department received a 9-1-1 call that a male, later identified to be Rashawn Thompson, 18, from Chicago, IL, exited a 2010 Chevrolet Impala and stole a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu from a female at gunpoint. Shortly after, Indiana State Police Region 1 Dispatch received a report of a shooting that occurred between two vehicles traveling westbound on I-80 near the 9-mile marker.

While patrolling Cline Ave near 45th Street, Lake County Sheriff’s Department located the Malibu and Impala. Lake County Sheriff’s Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on both vehicles, which fled northbound on Cline Ave. Shortly after, Indiana State Police joined the pursuit. The Impala, driven by Tyzerrick Smith, 21, from Chicago, IL, drove over a curb and disabled the vehicle. The Impala came to stop on Cline Ave near Ridge Road, and Smith was safely taken into custody. Smith was later transported to Lake County Jail.

Other officers with the Indiana State Police and Lake County Sheriff’s Department continued to pursue the Malibu onto I-80 westbound from Cline Ave to Indianapolis Blvd. The Malibu exited at Indianapolis Blvd and reentered I-80 eastbound. The Malibu continued on I-80 eastbound and exited northbound onto Cline Ave. On Cline Ave., just north of I-80, an Indiana State Police vehicle and the Malibu collided. Thompson lost control of the Malibu and hit the concrete barrier on the east side of the road, which disabled his vehicle.

As Thompson exited the vehicle brandishing a firearm, a trooper from the Lowell Post fired his duty pistol at him. Thompson then jumped off Cline Ave, which is approximately a 30-foot bridge embankment. Officers on the scene went down to Thompson and immediately began to render medical aid. Thompson was transported by EMS to a Gary area hospital. Thompson was then transported by a lifeline helicopter to a Chicago area hospital. His condition is unknown.

Detectives from the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post are leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. Detectives from the Lowell Post are leading the investigation into the shooting that occurred on I-80 near the 9-mile marker. Both are active and ongoing criminal investigations. Once the criminal investigations are complete, they will be turned over to the Lake County Prosecutor for review and determination of charges, if any, to be filed.

Indiana State Police Lafayette and Lowell Detectives were assisted by troopers from the Lowell Post, Indiana State Police CSI, Griffith Police Department, Porter Police Department, Hammond Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Gary Fire Department, and Double T Towing.

Further information about the trooper involved will be forthcoming.