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Officers in weekend shooting named

The Elkhart Police Department has released the names of three officers involved in a fatal shooting Sunday.
Posted on Nov. 12, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 12, 2013 at 2:50 p.m.

ELKHART — The Elkhart Police Department has released the names of the three officers involved in a fatal shooting Sunday night near downtown Elkhart.

According to a press release from the police department, Cpl. Jason Ray, Patrolman Jason Gruber and Patrolman Daniel Mayer were involved in the shooting.

Ray was hired by the Elkhart Police Department in August 2006, while Gruber and Mayer were hired in May 2011.

In a press release Monday, Indiana State Police identified the man killed Sunday, Nov. 10, as Christopher Ryckeart, 31, of Elkhart.

Elkhart County Coroner John White said Ryckeart died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Police attempted to stop a blue and gray pickup truck driven by Ryckeart because of a traffic violation at about 8 p.m. The truck was also reported stolen.

Ryckeart led police on a 40-minute chase that took officers into Michigan and back to Elkhart.

The chase ended in the area of Marion and Fourth streets. Police have not said which officer initiated the chase.

State police stated in a press release that Ryckeart was allegedly backing his truck into the path of officers as they attempted to place him in custody.

The officers fired shots in Ryckeart’s direction. Ryckeart was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured in the shooting.

As part of the Elkhart Police Department’s protocol, the state police was called to complete the investigation.

The three officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave until the criminal and internal affairs investigations are completed.

Once completed, the criminal investigation will be forwarded to the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office. After the case is resolved, Elkhart department’s office of internal affairs will review the investigation to determine whether disciplinary action is required.

This is the second police-action shooting in Elkhart in just over two months.

On Sept. 1, Jaime Benavidez was fatally shot after leading police on a chase. Benavidez ran from the 300 block of Hubbard Avenue, where he was trying to get into his mother’s house, and was shot in the 300 block of Lusher Avenue.

Benavidez was carrying a handgun while he was being chased and, according to a press release from the prosecutor’s office, he was shot when he raised his gun.

The three officers involved in the Sept. 1 shooting — Sgt. Karl Miller, Cpl. Bruce Anglemeyer and Cpl. James Ballard — were on paid administrative leave until the criminal and internal affairs investigations were completed.

After reviewing the state police’s investigation, the prosecutor’s office announced the officers’ actions were reasonable under the circumstances of the incident.

They returned to active duty Oct. 31.


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