Community honors Southport officer fatally shot while responding to crash
SOUTHPORT, Ind. – A memorial for Lt. Aaron Allan is growing outside the Southport Police Department as community members lay flowers, cards, and stuffed animals on his cruiser.
Allan was a husband and father to two children, and he had nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience. Southport Police Chief Tom Vaughn says Allan always wanted to be a police officer, and he took his job to heart.
On Thursday, July 27, Allan responded to the scene of a car crash near Maynard Drive and Madison Avenue to render aid after the driver crashed through a fence, and the car flipped over.
As Allan approached the car, Jason Brown, 28, allegedly started shooting at the officer, and Allan was hit multiple times. He was transported to Eskenazi Hospital, where he later died from his injuries. The passenger in Brown’s car was released and is not facing any charges.
He was awarded the officer of the year distinction in 2015 when he was a reserve officer with the Southport Police Department.
He was known for going beyond his job duties, like helping families at Christmas, and in the community whether he was on or off the clock.
Chuck Williams and Angie Conder stopped by the memorial to Allen Friday afternoon. The couple says the officer made an immense difference in their lives when Williams was battling stage four cancer. Allan, along with other Southport police officers, showed up at their home during the holidays.
“We had the tree but we didn’t have nothing under the tree,” Williams said. “They said they was going to take care of it.”
The officers made sure the couple had Christmas gifts for their little girl. They also took the child to Chuck E. Cheese.
“It meant everything to all of us because if it wasn’t for them – we wouldn’t have had a Christmas that year,” Conder said.
Vaughn said Allan donated money of out of his own pocket to help that family.
“He actually had a nickname, teddy bear, and that’s because he tried to act real macho but as soon as someone needed help he was one of the first guys there. He got nicknamed that, he didn’t always like that nickname, but it fit him that was who he really was,” said Vaughn.
Thursday was the first day of school for Allan’s son, and he was seen walking the young boy to his bus stop.
Friday, people who don’t even know Allan were showing up at the cruiser to thank him and pray for him. Hundreds of people rolled through over a several hour span, bringing a variety of items to show their respect for Allan's service.
“It was amazing to see all the bears and the flowers and the notes and cards," Amanda Gaines said. Her young son had brought a small stuff animal to leave at Allan's cruiser. "He wanted to give to the officer because he has a 'boo boo' and wanted to pray for him.”
Gaines wasn't the only one to bring a child with her.
"It’s super important for me to bring my kids out to support the community," Deanna Schultz, who brought five children with her, said. " Coming from a family of law enforcement, my father was a police officer for 40 plus years, and I just want my kids to know how important these people are.”
“We have to have law, we have to have order, and this guy was going to help save, rescue the person in the car and lost his life for it. It’s… you can’t just… it’s just crazy,” said Angie Miller, a nearby resident who visited Allan’s cruiser to pay him respect.
Allan worked with Franklin Township School police until January of this year when he was hired as one of two full time officers for Southport. All other Southport officers are volunteers. The sheriff’s office says they will help cover Southport for the next 48 hours, possibly longer if needed.
Franklin Township Community School Corporation released the following statement about Allan:
"It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to one of our former Franklin Township employee. Aaron Allan was a dedicated police officer at Franklin Central High School prior to departing in December. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Allan family and all first responders."