Charges: Man accused in South Bend shooting fired 18 shots at officer

IL file photo

A northern Indiana man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly firing more than a dozen shots at an Indiana State Excise Police officer who was following him.

Ian Steven Austin, 20, was arrested Tuesday by state troopers in Mishawaka and charged Wednesday with attempted murder, criminal recklessness and other felonies.

Court documents allege that the South Bend man fired 18 rounds at excise officer Joseph Formato on Sept. 29 in the northern Indiana city, the South Bend Tribune reported.

The officer was not wounded in the shooting, which occurred after he began following Austin after seeing him pull his car out of a convenience store parking lot, according to court documents.

After Austin allegedly failed to stop for a stop sign, the officer was about to turn on his emergency lights to make a traffic stop when Austin allegedly stopped, got out of his car and began shooting at Formato, court records state.

Ballistic evidence indicates Austin fired 18 rounds at Formato, with many striking the officer’s car. Court documents do not say how many shots Formato fired.

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