A Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Mitchell police officer were shot and airlifted to a hospital early Sunday morning after a suspect fled a traffic stop.
The violence unfolded around 3:15 a.m. in Mitchell, Indiana. A sheriff’s deputy pulled over a vehicle in the 4800 block of SR 37 for a traffic violation, Indiana State Police said. A second sheriff’s deputy, his K9 partner, and a Mitchell police officer arrived on scene to assist.
The K9 alerted the officers to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle which officers found after a search, state police said. The officers attempted to arrest the suspect who fled on foot, running west across SR 37 into a grassy area.
The officers caught up to the suspect, but he resisted arrested, state police said. A scuffle ensued, and the suspect produced a handgun and fired at the officers. Two officers were struck and at least one of them was able to return gunfire, wounding the suspect.
The injured officers were transported to a local hospital by ambulance before being airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital. The suspect was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, state police said.
State police said both officers received non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. They were identified later Sunday as Joshua Rhoades, a five-year veteran of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, and Christian Anderson, a three-year veteran of the Mitchell Police Department.
Anderson remains hospitalized in stable condition. Rhoades was released from the hospital later Sunday, state police said.
Police say an off-duty officer, alongside a relative, arranged to meet a seller in Brooklyn on Saturday to buy a car advertised on Facebook marketplace. The suspect then displayed a gun and announced a robbery.
Police say the driver exited his vehicle and began shooting at the officers, hitting their patrol vehicle multiple times. Neither officer was injured. Both officers returned fire, striking the vehicle as it sped away.
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