Officer Involved Shooting in Newton County

An officer involved shooting in Newton County, IN is under investigation.  It involved a prisoner who was being transported from the Iroquois County Jail in Watseka to the Newton County Jail in Kentland.  The prisoner escaped from a transport van and layter found at a Kentland residence where gunfire erupted.  36-year-old Jayme Lopez of Gary, IN was wounded and air-lifted to a South Bend hospital. 

Indiana State Police are leading the investigation at the request of the Newton County Sheriff and Jasper County Sheriff. 

Several police agencies responded to the searcvh for Lopez and the subsequent shooting.  A preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police Detectives revealed Kentland County Jail Deputies were transporting Jayme Lopez from Iroquois County Jail in Illinois to the Newton County Jail. Lopez was being extradited on an active warrant out of Newton County. Upon arrival at the Newton County Jail, just after 10:30 a.m., Lopez escaped from the transport vehicle. On and off-duty officers from around the area quickly responded and set up a perimeter to begin searching.

Just after 1:00 p.m., troopers with the Indiana State Police located Lopez at 707 E. Lincoln Street, Kentland, IN. Officers safely evacuated the residence and set up a perimeter around the apartment building. Further investigation revealed Lopez obtained a firearm at some point after he escaped and made entry into an apartment. Jasper County STS (Sheriff’s Tactical Squad) was contacted.

Once Jasper County STS arrived on the scene, they immediately began negotiations with Lopez. Shortly after the arrival, multiple shots were fired by Lopez from inside the apartment toward officers. A member of the Jasper County STS returned fire, striking Lopez. Lopez then surrendered to officers, who immediately began to render medical aid. Lopez was transported to a South Bend area hospital by a lifeline helicopter.

Detectives from the Indiana State Police Lowell Post are leading the investigation into the officer involved shooting and the escape of Lopez. This is an active and ongoing criminal investigation. Once the criminal investigation is complete, the investigation will be turned over to the Newton County Prosecutor for review. 

94.1 WGFA