Lake, Porter counties sort out charges for Wednesday melee along U.S. 30
By Lori Caldwell firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3258 August 9, 2012 2:45PM
Updated: September 11, 2012 6:16AM
HOBART — Tattoos promising “Never Surrender” marked both Shawn Duffy’s arms.
And when he and three other home invasion suspects crashed into an FBI agent’s car at U.S. 30 and Colorado Street on Wednesday night, Duffy died by those words.
After wounding a witness who had followed a silver car from the Porter County home invasion, Duffy turned the gun on himself.
The 24-year-old Crown Point man died at the scene.
Duffy was familiar with the criminal justice system. Charged in 2008 with several felonies, including altering identification on a handgun, he pleaded guilty to theft and receiving stolen property. He was released in 2010 and court records show he was unsuccessful in completing his probation.
Three men apprehended during a frantic scene in the height of rush hour on the busy highway were held all day at the Hobart Police Department. Two men, ages 23 and 24, are from the Chicago suburbs of Homewood and Flossmoor, Hobart police spokesman Lt. David Grissom said. The fourth is a 22-year-old Gary man. Grissom said another suspect was taken into custody Thursday afternoon.
He declined to provide their names.
The 52-year-old Porter County woman was home alone when the men stormed into her house intending to steal guns and money. Porter County police investigators do not believe it was a random attack. She was treated at the hospital for her injuries and the suspects are expected to be charged with felonies including robbery, battery and confinement, police said.
The victim had reported another burglary to her home in January 2011.
Police viewed surveillance video from a Centier Bank branch at the intersection where the suspects’ car hit the agent’s SUV.
Grissom said the video confirmed that Duffy shot himself.
Police from multiple agencies were quick to respond to the crash that was followed immediately by gunfire.
“Considering the time of day with a lot of restaurants filled with people, it could have been worse,” Hobart Police Chief Jeff White said Thursday.
The Porter County man who followed suspects from the home invasion was shot in the hand.
Duffy was the only other person injured. He ran across the busy highway, shooting at an FBI agent whose SUV was involved in the crash. A news release from the Lake County coroner states he died from a gunshot wound to the head. Duffy’s death will be ruled a suicide.
A second suspect stayed at the crash scene and was detained by a witness. The others ran through various businesses that border the north side of U.S. 30.
A Merrillville officer arrested the third man at TGI Friday’s. Lastly, a suspect was apprehended between Chuck E. Cheese and Don Pablo restaurants, by either an FBI agent or a county officer, police said.
Reports on the foot chase are still being finalized, with multiple federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies involved.
“We counted at least nine agencies involved,” White said. He praised the responding police for their help, saying, “I would match our coordination against anyone in the state.”
In addition to Hobart police, others included Lake County, Indiana State Police, Merrillville, Hammond and Porter County police, FBI and ATF.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said Thursday afternoon he didn’t expect the three suspects to be booked into his jail, saying the Porter County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation.
Porter County police spokesman Sgt. Larry LaFlower said two detectives from his department were at the Hobart station Thursday morning as they began working through the evidence to prepare a case for prosecutors.