Noble Co. man hospitalized after police shootout, long pursuit

A man who fled a traffic stop was hospitalized after exchanging gunfire with officers early Thursday following a police pursuit through several northern Indiana counties, state police said.

Justin Robert Weikel, 40, was taken into custody about 1:45 a.m. in Kendallville by SWAT team officers with Fort Wayne police and transported to a local hospital, Indiana State Police said.

The nature and extent of Weikel’s injuries, including whether he was shot or suffered another type of injury, were not immediately known, state police spokesman Sgt. Brian Walker said. Weikel was reported in stable condition as of about 8 a.m., he said.

No officers or civilians were injured in the incident, which began about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday after Weikel, a resident of the unincorporated Noble County town of LaOtto, was stopped by Fort Wayne officers for reckless driving.

He sped away as an officer approached his vehicle on foot, prompting a multi-agency pursuit lasting nearly 45 minutes that wound through Allen, DeKalb and Noble counties before Weikel came to a stop about 12:15 a.m. on the south side of Kendallville, about 120 miles northeast of Indianapolis, police said.

Weikel refused to exit his vehicle and began shooting at officers, who returned fire. When he continued shooting at officers, SWAT teams from state police and Fort Wayne police arrived and he was eventually taken into custody.

Walker said Weikel was found to be wanted on an arrest warrant on a felony methamphetamine charge.

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