Elkhart officers back to work following November action shooting investigation

    Three Elkhart police officers were on paid administrative leave while Indiana State Police officers reviewed action shooting in Christopher Ryckeart case.

    Posted on Feb. 21, 2014 at 6:49 p.m.

    ELKHART — The three Elkhart police officers involved in an action shooting in November were reinstated and went back to work the second week of February.

    Patrolman Dan Mayer, Cpl. Jason Ray and Patrolman Jason Gruber were cleared following a review by the police department's internal affairs office.

    The three officers were on paid administrative leave while the Indiana State Police investigated the action shooting.

    According to Indiana State Police, Christopher Ryckeart, 31, led officers from the Elkhart Police Department on a chase that took officers into Michigan and back to Elkhart on Nov. 10, 2013.

    Elkhart officers had attempted to stop a blue and gray 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck Ryckeart was driving for a violation. The truck was also reported stolen.

    The chase ended in the area of Marion and Fourth streets.

    According to police reports, Ryckeart was backing his truck into the path of officers as they attempted to place him in custody. Mayer, Ray and Gruber fired shots in Ryckeart's direction. The Elkhart County coroner determined Ryckeart died of multiple gunshot wounds.

    Following protocol, the Elkhart Police Department called state police to take over the investigation. The state police forwarded its investigation to the prosecutor's office.

    Evidence in the investigation then went to a grand jury for consideration Jan. 27. That same day the grand jury returned a verdict of "no bill," meaning no criminal charges were to be filed against any of the three officers.

    After the prosecutor's office reviews the investigation, the Elkhart Police Department's internal affairs office must review the case also and determine whether the officers violated any codes.

    Two officers from the Elkhart Police Department remain on paid administrative leave in a separate case. Cpl. Cody Skipper and Cpl. Jason Tripp were allegedly involved in an action shooting Jan. 16 at a Martin's Super Market.

    Shawn Walter Bair, 22, was shot and killed after he entered the store and killed 20-year-old Krystle Dikes and 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread, according to police.

    The state police continues to investigate the January shooting.

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