NEWTON CO. – At the request of the Newton County Sheriff and Jasper County Sheriff, the Indiana State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Kentland, IN.
A preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police Detectives revealed Kentland County Jail Deputies were transporting Jayme Lopez, 36, of Gary, IN, from Iroquois County Jail in Illinois to Newton County Jail. Lopez was being extradited on an active warrant out of Newton County. Upon arrival at the Newton County Jail, just after 10:30 a.m., Lopez escaped from the transport vehicle. On and off-duty officers from around the area quickly responded and set up a perimeter to begin searching.
Just after 1:00 p.m., troopers with the Indiana State Police located Lopez at 707 E. Lincoln Street, Kentland, IN. Officers safely evacuated the residence and set up a perimeter around the apartment building. Further investigation revealed Lopez obtained a firearm at some point after he escaped and made entry into an apartment. Jasper County STS (Sheriff’s Tactical Squad) was contacted.
Once Jasper County STS arrived on the scene, they immediately began negotiations with Lopez. Shortly after the arrival, multiple shots were fired by Lopez from inside the apartment toward officers. A member of the Jasper County STS returned fire, striking Lopez. Lopez then surrendered to officers, who immediately began to render medical aid. Lopez was transported to a South Bend area hospital by a lifeline helicopter.
Detectives from the Indiana State Police Lowell Post are leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting and its escape of Lopez. This is an active and ongoing criminal investigation. Once the criminal investigation is complete, the investigation will be turned over to the Newton County Prosecutor for review and determination of charges, if any, to be filed.
Indiana State Police Detectives were assisted by troopers from the Lowell Post, Indiana State Police CSI’s, Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Indiana Conservation Officers, Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Newton County Sheriff’s Department, White County Sheriff’s Department, Kentland Police Department, Monon Police Department, Rensselaer Indiana, Wolcott Police Department, Kentland Fire Department, Monticello Fire Department, and Newton County EMS.