(INDIANAPOLIS) - Four Bloomington District Indiana State Police Troopers were recognized Wednesday at a Service and Valor Awards Ceremony the Indiana Government Center for Indiana State Police employees.
Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter and his primary staff recognized the four troopers for their service, self sacrifice and bravery.
On July 4, 2012, just before 10 a.m. Senior Trooper Eric Nash, Senior Trooper Mike Clephane, Master Trooper Mark Clephane and Trooper Mike Adams responded to a 911 call for help regarding a violent domestic dispute at the home of 25-year-old Michael Lane Jr., along State Road 45 South - one-fourth of a mile north of State Road 58, near Owensburg and the NSA Crane Bloomington Gate.
When the deputies arrived, the woman who had made the call had left the scene but then returned.
Greene County Deputy Jim O'Malley initially responded to the scene. Lane opened fire. And Deputy O'Mallery was struck in the leg just outside of the front door of the home.
Senior Trooper Nash was notified by radio that Deputy O'Malley was down. Upon Trooper Nash's arrival he backed his patrol car down the suspect's driveway to within 50 feet of the suspect's front door. He then assisted Deputy O'Malley into the back seat of the car and drove to the end of the driveway.
At the end of the drive, Nash began administering first aid to stop the bleeding and call for an ambulance.
While Nash was tending to O'Malley, the suspect again opened fire on both officers.
Nash's patrol car was struck in the right rear corner panel and the left rear tire.
Within a few minutes of the latest gunfire Senior Trooper Mike Clephane and Deputy Brad Deckard arrived and began to assist with Deputy O'Malley.
The suspect then came out of the residence and again opened fire on the officers.
Master Trooper Mike Clephane returned fire.
It was during this exchange of gunfire that Deputy Deckard was shot in the neck and shoulder while positioned next to Nash's car.
Master Trooper Mark Clephane and Trooper Mike Adams then arrived on the scene.
Mark Clephane, during the gunfire left his position from behind Deputy Deckard's patrol vehicle, two times in an attempt to remove an uncooperative person from the scene and into a position of safety, but to no avail.
Trooper Adams and Master Trooper Mark Clephane then assisted both Deputies to a position of safety utilizing Deputy Deckard's patrol vehicle, while Master Trooper Mike Clephane and Senior Trooper Nash provided cover.
Within minutes, Trooper Adams and Master Trooper Clephane left their positions of cover to assist the other officers in providing cover and tending to their wounds.
The suspect again appeared in the doorway of the residence and fired upon the officers.
While Deputy Deckard's commission was struck, M/Trooper Mark Clephane returned fire. This caused the suspect to retreat back into the residence.
"S/Trooper Eric Nash's act of backing his patrol car down the driveway toward the line of fire to rescue the injured deputy was clearly a deed of personal bravery and involved the imminent risk of serious injury or worse. In addition, he maintained his composure under high stress and administered First Aid while being fired upon" said Lt. Paul Bucher, Commander of the Bloomington Post.
Lt. Bucher continued by saying "M/Trooper Mark Clephane, M/Trooper Mike Clephane and Trooper Mike Adams clearly put themselves at risk at the scene, especially while assisting the injured Deputies to take cover. While doing so, they were the intended target, taking live rounds from the suspect, threatening their safety and their lives".
Superintendent Carter stated "All four Troopers performed their duties with distinction and courage while experiencing a high level of danger due to gunfire from the suspect. These Troopers performed in a manner that placed them directly in the line of fire risking death or serious injury. Their actions coincide with the finest traditions of law enforcement and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Indiana State Police".
"Once the deputies were taken to an awaiting ambulance, a perimeter was established around the residence and the Indiana State Police Emergency Response Section (ERS) was called to the scene. The ERS team then utilized the Indiana State Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team's Robot to make entry into the residence, where it found the male subject, Michael Lane Jr., of Owensburg, deceased," ISP Sgt. Curt Durni said the day of the shooting.
His sister, Megan Lane and fiance Jessica Page, say Lane was high on drugs at the time of the shooting.
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