One dead in car crash, shooting along U.S. 30 in Hobart
By Christin Nance Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org August 8, 2012 6:16PM
Officers search for evidence near the covered body of a man who was fatally shot near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Colorado in Hobart Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 10, 2012 1:47PM
HOBART — One man is dead and three are in custody at the Lake County Jail after they fled a home invasion in Porter County, crashed their car and led police on a foot chase near the Hobart Walmart. The incident Wednesday forced police to close portions U.S. 30 and Colorado Street to traffic.
Porter County Police Lt. Larry LaFlower said the incident started when three men in a silver car robbed a house in the 100 block of South County Road 450W in Porter County around 5:04 p.m. They battered the 52-year-old homeowner, a woman, and stole an undetermined amount of cash and guns. She was treated at Porter hospital. The homeowner’s neighbor, who was driving a navy blue GMC Sierra truck, pursued the men as they drove west on U.S. 30, and he kept police posted as to their location.
Around 5:18 p.m. Hobart Police Chief Jeff White said the four men took a sharp right turn onto Colorado Street at a high rate of speed and crashed into three vehicles, including an SUV driven by an FBI agent.
Three of the men bailed out of the car and fled on foot. An FBI agent took the remaining man in the car into custody. Two men ran through the Centier Bank parking lot into the Sam’s Club parking lot, where they shot at the neighbor’s truck, striking him in the hand and shattering the windshield and the back window. The neighbor was being treated at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. The two men kept running into various businesses — Chuck E. Cheese, Don Pablo’s and T.G.I. Friday’s — in order to change their appearances but they were apprehended in the 2800 block of East 80th Avenue. Police were searching shrubbery near the Chuck E. Cheese for guns and gun casings.
The third man ran across U.S. 30 toward B.C. Osaka restaurant, with another FBI agent in pursuit, and fired his weapon twice before turning it on himself. The Lake County Coroner’s Office arrived on scene around 7 p.m. to investigate the death.
The incident crossed multiple jurisdictions, so various law enforcement agencies were on scene including Hobart, Merrillville, Hammond, Lake County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab, Porter County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, the FBI, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
White said Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter stopped by to offer his assistance since several agencies will likely file charges in the incident.
Merrillville resident Elizabeth Goudeaux was headed home from work at the light at Colorado Street and U.S. 30 around 5:20 p.m. when she heard a loud squealing sound as a silver car turned fast onto Colorado Street.
“It turned so fast that I couldn’t go anywhere,” she said.
The car crashed into several vehicles — including Goudreax’s — and three of the passengers bailed out and fled on foot. She got on the phone and heard gun shots, so she instinctively ducked down into her vehicle.
Goudreaux wasn’t hurt in the crash, but she was definitely shaken by the experience.
Valparaiso resident Ann Marie Brenston rushed to the scene to get information on the crash, in which her mother, Ann, was involved. Brenston’s mom was headed home from her shift at Walmart.
“My dad called me to tell me she was involved in an accident and he was freaking out,” Brenston said. “She was screaming and crying and I could hear gunshots in the background. When I got here, she looked terrified.”
Brenston’s mother was being treated for injuries at St. Mary Medical Center.