LEBANON, Ind. (AP) – A central Indiana sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the head while chasing three suspects won’t survive and was on life support for donation of his organs, authorities said Friday.
Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said Deputy Jacob Pickett, a 30-year-old father of two young boys, was on life support at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis and his “life is being sustained so that he can continue to serve and help others.”
“We have lost a canine officer, a deputy, a friend, a warrior and a brother,” Nielsen said during an emotional news conference at the hospital. “We are family. We are grieving.”
Police said Pickett, who is married and joined the department about three years ago, was shot in the head at about 9:30 a.m. Friday as he rounded a corner with his police dog as they helped chase three men on foot in the city of Lebanon, which is about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
The three men were later captured following the pursuit, which led to a lockdown of local schools, government offices and a library in Lebanon while officers in body armor scoured the area for the suspects.
State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said investigators believe 21-year-old Anthony Baumgardt shot Pickett. He said Baumgardt was shot by officers and was at the same hospital as Pickett with non-life-threatening injuries. He will be jailed as soon as he’s discharged.
Carter said Friday’s chase began after police officers serving an arrest warrant for a woman noticed 28-year-old John D. Baldwin Jr., who also had an outstanding arrest warrant for allegedly violating his probation on a conviction for unlawful possession of a syringe.
Officers ordered Baldwin to stop, but he got into a car with his 55-year-old father, John Baldwin Sr., and Baumgardt and they fled the scene, Carter said.
Officers pursued that car as it fled through the city’s streets, and Pickett and other officers joined the chase. Pickett was shot after the car stopped and the occupants fled on foot.
John D. Baldwin Jr. got back into the car and drove away before being arrested along nearby Interstate 65, police said. His father later surrendered to police.
Nielsen said Pickett is the first officer with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office killed in the line of duty since 1935, when Sheriff John Pepper was killed while on duty.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement that he and his wife, Janet, “are stunned and heartbroken” by Pickett’s shooting and feel sorrow for the deputy’s wife and children.