BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. — A late-night police chase in Bartholomew County leads to an officer-involved shooting with an Indiana State trooper.
The incident began shortly before 10:30 pm when an officer from the Hope Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a Pontiac passenger car in Hope, Indiana.
Police say the driver of the car, later identified as 41-year-old Joseph L. Morrow, refused to stop for the officer and a vehicle pursuit was initiated.
That pursuit lasted nearly thirty minutes and traveled in Bartholomew and Decatur Counties before ending up in the backyard of a home just east of Columbus on Peach Court.
“He apparently went through my yard, around my house and shed and then through the neighbor’s front yard,” said Terry White.
Terry says the suspect barely missed hitting her home and shed by inches. As the suspect recklessly sped through her yard, she recalls hearing gunshots and ducking for cover.
“I grabbed the dog and hit the floor and then when the shots stopped I ran to my husband,” said White. “It’s very scary, but I thank God nobody out here got hurt.”
“It appears at this time the officers thought the vehicle was coming to a stop in the yard and the pursuit was going to end,” said ISP Sgt. Stephen Wheeles.
Instead, Sgt. Wheeles says the suspect sped towards one trooper who had gotten out of his squad car.
“The car was coming close to him and directly towards him and that resulted in the trooper firing at least one round in an attempt to protect his own life,” said Wheeles.
The suspect then allegedly drove nearly a mile to a nearby landfill where he tried to run away on foot before being arrested.
He was taken to a hospital for evaluation but is expected to be held at the Bartholomew County jail on multiple charges.
Neither Morrow nor the trooper were injured during the incident.
“It just goes to show someone that’s desperate to get away, the lengths they’ll go to,” said Wheeles. “We’re just very fortunate no one was injured seriously in this incident.”
The trooper involved in the shooting is on routine administrative leave while the case is investigated.
Numerous police agencies assisted in the pursuit and subsequent investigation. Detectives from the Indiana State Police-Sellersburg Post are leading the investigation.