Elkhart police identifies officers involved in Martin’s shooting

The Elkhart Police Department has identified the two officers involved in a shooting at Martin's Super Market on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Posted on Jan. 17, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — The Elkhart Police Department has identified the officers involved in Martin’s Super Market shooting Wednesday, Jan. 15, as Cpl. Cody Skipper and Cpl. Jason Tripp.

Skipper and Tripp were among the first officers to respond to reports of the shooting at the grocery store, 3900 E. Bristol St., at about 10:07 p.m. Wednesday.

Shawn Bair, 20, of Elkhart, entered the store and killed 20-year-old Krystle Dikes and 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread before he was shot by police.

Skipper was hired in December 2008, while Tripp was hired in July 2009. Both will remain on paid administrative leave until the criminal and internal affairs investigations are completed.

The Indiana State Police has taken over the criminal investigation following standard procedure. The investigation will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, where it will be reviewed.

Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill commended the officers who responded to the scene for their quick action during a press conference Thursday.

“But for the time of the response from the police department, there is an overwhelming amount of probability of more death,” Hill said Thursday.

Hill said the officers’ response will be taken into consideration during the investigation’s review.

Other officials, including Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Trent Smith and Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore, also acclaimed the two officers’ preparedness and training.

“I’m also so appreciative of the police department that was able to make a there,” Moore said. “It certainly quieted something that could have been much worse than it was.”

Additionally, the Elkhart Police Department’s internal affairs office will have a separate investigation after the prosecutor’s office reviews the investigation.

The state police continued their investigation Friday, according to a statement from the state police’s Bremen Post.

Detectives plan to interview family, friends and acquaintances of those involved in the incident in the next several days. They are reviewing autopsy findings and analyzing video footage from the store.

Elkhart County Coroner John White said the autopsies on Dikes, Godfread and Bair were done Thursday. A forensic pathologist determined all three died of multiple gunshot wounds. The White said all three deaths were ruled a homicide.

State police are also looking into Bair’s background and working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to track down the origin and ownership of the gun.

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