Huntington officer wounded, suspect dead in exchange of gunfire

A northeastern Indiana police officer was seriously wounded and a suspect was killed early Sunday when gunfire erupted as police pursued a man who was damaging property with a backhoe.

Indiana State Police said a Huntington police officer was taken to a Fort Wayne hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both were shot in an exchange of gunfire after Huntington police officers who responded to a reported disturbance about 3:30 a.m. Sunday found a man operating a type of backhoe and destroying property in a neighborhood, state police said.

Huntington police and Huntington County deputies took part in a lengthy pursuit as the man continued using the backhoe to damage both private and public property in the city located about 20 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

The pursuit passed through the Horace Mann Elementary and Riverside Middle School campus area before the exchange of gunfire wounded the officer and killed the suspect.

No other officers or bystanders were injured in the shooting, state police said.

The state agency, which is investigating the shooting, said the names of the officers involved in the shooting will not be released until after the county prosecutor reviews its investigative findings.

The county coroner will release the name of the dead suspect once his relatives are notified, police said.

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