Elkhart officers involved in Martin's shooting to remain on administrative leave until internal policy review is completed

Cpl. Cody Skipper and Cpl. Jason Tripp were the two first responding officers at the Martin's Super Market shooting.

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 10:39 a.m.

ELKHART — The two police officers who responded to the Martin's Super Market shooting Jan. 15 must wait until the Elkhart Police Department concludes its own investigation before returning to duty.

Lt. Mike Sigsbee, head of the EPD's internal affairs office, said in a statement Friday morning, March 28, that once the police department receives the investigation, his office will begin an internal policy review.

Cpl. Cody Skipper and Cpl. Jason Tripp were among the first officers responding to reports of a shooting shortly after 10 p.m. Jan. 15 at the grocery store at 3900 E. Bristol St.

By the time the officers arrived the shooter, 22-year-old Shawn Bair, had already killed 20-year-old Krystle Dikes and 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread.

Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill said in a press conference Thursday that once the officers caught up with Bair, they ordered him to drop his gun.

Bair raised his gun, and the officers fired 10 times at him. Then Bair shot himself in the head.

Hill said in the press conference that eight or nine of the shots hit Bair.

Skipper and Tripp have remained on paid administrative leave since the incident.

Sigsbee said in the statement that the review will be an examination of:

  • The activities of all involved officers
  • Any policy violations that may have occurred due to these activities
  • Any policy revisions that need to be made due to information obtained from the incident and the response
  • Any training issues that need to be addressed including: New training to make officers better able to handle situations; any failures in training that may have occurred; issues with past training that the department needs to address; and reviews of what has been learned from the incident and due to the Elkhart officer’s involvement in the incident.

Sigsbee said the report will be forwarded to Police Chief Dale Pflibsen, who will determine when the officers will return to full active duty and what, if any, actions will need to be taken.

Skipper and Tripp were honored for their response by the Indiana General Assembly on Feb. 26.

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