St. John, Indiana cop opens fire on Hammond off-duty officer during traffic stop

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
St. John, Ind., cop opens fire on Hammond off-duty officer
A northwest Indiana police officer accused of shooting at a car driven by an off-duty on paid leave.

ST. JOHN, Ind. (WLS) -- An on-duty police officer in St. John, Indiana, opened fire on an off-duty Hammond police officer overnight, officials confirmed.

St. John police said that at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday an officer was "checking on an abandoned unoccupied suspicious vehicle" near West 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue. According to the statement from St. John police, the officer was standing in the shoulder of the lane when a car nearly struck him.

St. John police said the officer feared for his life and opened fire on the vehicle, which continued driving past the scene. The officer then chased down the driver and took him into custody.

That driver appears to be an off-duty Hammond police officer. In a Facebook post by Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr., the mayor said the Hammond officer was on his way to his home in St. John when he saw the St. John officer conducting a traffic stop. The mayor said the Hammond officer moved to the other side of the road to give space when the St. John officer opened fire at him.

The off-duty Hammond officer was uninjured, and McDermott said he maintains he did nothing wrong. Clearly angry in his post, McDermott wrote, "Police officers, like the St. John officer who decided to use deadly force in this case, are a danger to society and don't deserve to wear the badge of #Hoosier Law Enforcement."

The Hammond Police Department confirmed the account of events in the mayor's Facebook post.

ABC7 has reached out to the St. John Police Department for comment but have not yet heard back.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office confirmed the officer-involved shooting and said they are investigating the incident. They had no further comment.