BREAKING NEWS: Bartholomew County suspect dies of gunshot in exchange of fire with Indiana State Police

4:46 p.m. update

The suspect in a Bartholomew County manhunt was shot and killed about 12:21 p.m. Saturday during an exchange of gunfire as Indiana State Troopers were searching the river bank near the location of an earlier shooting incident involving a Columbus police officer, Indiana State Police said.

A Bartholomew county resident, Quentin Starke, 44, who was hiding in a secluded wooded area, died after an exchange of gunfire, police said.

As the two encountered each other, Starke fired at the trooper and missed, police said. When the trooper returned fire, Starke was struck and died, officers said. However, it is uncertain if the gunshot wound was from the Indiana State Trooper’s firearm or from Starke’s firearm, they said.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death and a ballistics test will be performed to determine which weapon’s bullet or bullets struck Starke, police said.

When Starke was apprehended, first aid was rendered but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the state police statement.

The name of the Indiana State Trooper involved in the shooting will be released at a later date, police said.

1:35 p.m. update

The suspect was struck by the SWAT team shots, and his condition is unknown at this time, Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said.

All police officers are safe, he added.

1:28 p.m.

The suspect in the early-morning shooting of a Columbus Police Department officer is in custody after exchanging shots with the Indiana State Police SWAT team, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, ISP public information officer.

1:07 p.m.

Notification from Everbridge: Reference the armed and dangerous suspect in the Garden City area. The alert has been canceled and the situation has been resolved. Authority of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

12:25 p.m.

Police are reporting that the “suspect is down” and have requested an ambulance and for Lifeline helicopter to be alerted. The individual was found on the east side of the river near the wastewater treatment plant.

12:13 p.m.

Police are searching south of the water treatment plant and east of a water body.

Police also believe the suspect is wet and muddy from being in water.

11:20 a.m. update

Police are continuing to search near the river around the Columbus wastewater treatment plant for the suspect after finding a black shirt on a pathway leading to the river. Police have also recovered two shell casings, according to scanner traffic.

11:04 a.m. update

According to police scanner traffic, authorities are searching a waterway for the suspect.

10:57 a.m. update

Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles also clarified that the vehicle driven by the suspect was a Toyota Camry, not a Toyota Corolla.

10:44 a.m. update

Indiana State Police have identified the injured Columbus Police Department officer as Sgt. Josh McCrary, a nine-year veteran of the force.

Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. Stephen Wheeles also clarified that that they are unsure if McCrary was injured by the shot by the suspect or debris. The location of the injury on McCrary has not been released.

The suspect remains at large, Wheeles said, and residents are advised to avoid the Garden City area. Also, all activities planned today at Southside Elementary School have been canceled, Wheeles said.

9:41 a.m. update

A news release issued by the Indiana State Police about the shooting said that the suspect used a long gun to shoot the officer, he was driving a Toyota Corolla during the pursuit and he fled into a wooded area after shooting the officer.

Also, the officer has been treated for his injuries at Columbus Regional Hospital and released, the Indiana State Police said in the news release.

9:18 a.m. update

The Garden City Church of Christ, which normally has a men’s breakfast on Saturday mornings, has opened their kitchen to officers and offered to cook them breakfast.

9:14 a.m. update

More four-wheeler search vehicles arriving.

9:12 a.m. update

The Columbus and Bartholomew County area alert system, known as Everbridge, has issued the following notice to local residents:

“Use caution. There is a heavy police presence in the area of Garden City along State Road 11 and 200 South due to an armed and dangerous suspect that fled on foot. The suspect is a white male with red or brown hair and facial hair. He is around 6 foot tall and 190 pounds in his late thirties or early forties. He was last seen wearing a black shirt, jeans, and a ball cap. If he is seen, please call 911.”

9:06 a.m. update

The Department of Natural Resources has brought a boat and four-wheeler to the staging area for possible use by police in the search for the suspect who shot a police officer.

8:55 a.m. update

Police cars taking off quickly from church parking lot.

8:36 a.m. update

Three SWAT team members recently checked their guns and took off in a police car.

A helicopter is continuing to sweep the area in the search for the suspect.

Columbus Police Department officers are using the parking lot at Garden City Church of Christ as a staging area.

Original post

COLUMBUS — A Columbus police officer is listed in stable condition after he was shot in an incident in the State Road 11/Garden City area at about 4:30 a.m. this morning.

The incident began when a Columbus police officer attempted to stop a vehicle at 11th and Washington streets, which refused to stop, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman. The pursuit continued to State Road 11 in Garden City where tire deflation devices were placed in the roadway and the vehicle ran over them, Harris said.

The vehicle continued down State Road 11 and then went near the city’s water treatment plant, down a gravel road to a tree-lined area, where the driver left the vehicle and shot at the officer, Harris said.

The officer did not return fire and notified dispatchers he had been shot.

Additional police officer arrived and set up a perimeter to search for the shooter, who has not been located, Harris said. An Indiana State Police helicopter is currently searching in the area.

Police are looking for a suspect in the area who is described as a white male with reddish/brown hair and facial hair. He is wearing a black shirt, jeans and ball cap. He is described as being 6 foot 190 pounds and is possibly in his late 30s or early 40s.

The male is considered armed and dangerous at this time, according to a police warning issued and republished on social media. Anyone seeing the individual is asked to call 911 immediately.

Additional details about the incident are expected to be released within the next hour, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

For more on this story, see Sunday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.