Grand Jury to examine officer-involved shooting in Elkhart

The Elkhart County Prosecutor announced a grand jury will review an action shooting that resulted in the death of an Elkhart man.
Posted on Jan. 8, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill announced that a grand jury will examine the Nov. 10, 2013, shooting death of a man who was fleeing from police.

Hill said in a statement Wednesday, Jan. 8, that a grand jury will convene Jan. 27 in Elkhart Circuit Court to review the fatal shooting of Christopher Ryckeart, 31.

Ryckeart led Elkhart Police Department officers on a chase that took them into Michigan and then back to Elkhart when he died.

The Indiana State Police was asked to investigate the shooting.

According to a press release from the state police, Elkhart officers attempted to stop for a violation a blue and gray 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck Ryckeart was driving. The truck was reported stolen.

The chase, which started at about 8 p.m. and lasted more than 40 minutes, ended in the area of Marion and Fourth streets. According to initial reports, Ryckeart was backing his truck into the path of officers as they attempted to place him in custody after a vehicle pursuit.

No officers were injured in the shooting, said state police, but three Elkhart police officers fired their guns at Ryckeart.

Elkhart County Coroner John White said an autopsy was performed on Ryckeart. He said Ryckeart died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Three officers involved in the shooting, — Cpl. Jason Ray, Patrolman Jason Gruber and Patrolman Daniel Mayer — have been on paid administrative leave since the incident.

Ryckeart had been arrested in Elkhart numerous times on preliminary charges that included burglary, auto theft and possession of a firearm without a permit.

He was arrested Aug. 10 and charged with robbery. His case was pending in Elkhart Circuit Court.

The Indiana State Police handled the subsequent investigation and turned it over to the prosecutor’s office for review in mid-December.

The prosecutor’s office often convenes a grand jury to review police-action shootings. The prosecuting attorney will present evidence gathered in the investigation to the grand jury for their consideration. After deliberation, the grand jury will recommend if any further action should be taken.

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