Update: Officers named in shooting
FRANCESVILLE - A male suspect is dead, but a female juvenile hostage escaped without injury, during a police action shooting early Tuesday morning (March 28) on U.S. 421 south of Francesville.
Events leading to the shooting began about two hours earlier in Warren County, west of Lafayette, according to the Indiana State Police out of the Lowell Post who are investigating the incident.
Police have identified the deceased suspect as Peter J. Doffin Jr., 36, of Lafayette. An autopsy ordered by the Pulaski County Coroner's office revealed Doffin died as a result of extreme blood loss due to multiple gunshot wounds.
Police report that the preliminary investigation has revealed the driver of a 1999 white GMC Yukon pulled into a residence in Warren County at around 4:30 a.m. and allegedly dragged a female juvenile to his vehicle and left.
The teenage girl is the suspect's daughter, according to a report in the Lafayette Journal and Courrier.
A police pursuit through four counties ended when the suspect was shot and killed by police.
Following the abduction, a description of the vehicle with license plate information was given to Warren County Sheriff’s dispatch center and was broadcast to neighboring city and county police and to the Indiana State Police. The suspect vehicle was located by deputies of the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department who tried to stop the Yukon. The driver would not stop and Tippecanoe County pursued the vehicle through Tippecanoe, Carroll and White counties.
Stop sticks were deployed several times during the pursuit which caused several tires on the Yukon to deflate. The driver continued on through Monticello with deputies from the Tippecanoe Sheriff’s Department, Troopers from the ISP Lafayette Post, Flora Police Department, Monticello Police Department and the White County Sheriff’s Department assisting.
The driver of the Yukon continued on west of Monticello on U.S. 24 headed toward Reynolds where he turned north continuing on U.S. 421 toward Monon. The Monon Marshal attempted to deploy stop sticks on the south edge of town. The Yukon drove over the stop sticks and continued north through town with speeds under 40 mph.
About 6:32 a.m. one mile into Pulaski County, a deputy stopped southbound traffic and was going to deploy stop sticks when a semi truck drove past him as the pursuit was coming north. The Monon Marshal had maneuvered his car in front of the Yukon, but the marshal drove off the right side of the roadway to avoid hitting the semi. The Yukon attempted to go between the truck and the Marshal’s car, but struck both vehicles and continued down into a ditch where it came to rest.
The driver of the Yukon emerged from the vehicle displaying a weapon, and the police report said he made threatening gestures towards the officers who shot and killed the driver. The female passenger was not injured and no officers were injured in the gunfire.
The incident occurred on U.S. 421, about one mile south of the S.R. 114 intersection (about four miles south of Francesville).
The Pulaski County Coroner's office was notified of the incident at 10:12 a.m. and arrived at the scene at 10:49 a.m. Following identification of Doffin, the coroner notified the next of kin. A forensic autopsy was ordered. The Pulaski County Prosecutor's office has also joined the coroner's office and state police in the death investigation.
U.S. 421 was closed until mid-afternoon as authorities investigated at the scene.
The names of the officers involved in the shooting will be released by their respective departments at which time they feel appropriate.
The investigation continues.
Update: Friday, March 31
From Indiana State Police:
The officers involved in the police action shooting were Deputy Branson Eber of Pulaski County, Roger Young of the Monon Police Department, and Deputies Jodi Rohler and Jon Eads of Tippecanoe County.
According to the ISP news release, Doffin exited his vehicle and allegedly aggressively charged at the officers brandishing a knife and was told repeatedly to drop his weapon. Failing to comply with officers' demands and still advancing on the officers, action was taken to stop the aggression. The investigation is continuing.
The Pulaski County Prosecutor will evaluate the case and make an official ruling on the shooting as soon as he receives the information from the state police investigators.
Peter James "P.J." Doffin Jr.
"PJ" Doffin lived most all of his life in White County and was a 1999 graduate of Twin Lakes High School, Monticello. He had worked at VanGuard National of Monon for several years.
Among survivors are his mother and step-father, Patricia A. "Patty" and John Alford of Monticello, and a daughter, Jasmine Doffin of Montmorenci.
The funeral will be Saturday, April 8, in Monticello, with arrangements by Miller-Roscka Funeral Home, Monticello.