Man still in stable critical condition after multi-county police chase ends in shootout, investigation on going

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KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – An adult male is still in the hospital in stable, critical condition after a multi-county police chase ended in a shootout where suspect fired at police in Kendallville.

Friday morning, Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Brian Walker confirmed that Justin Robert Weikel, 40, of LaOtto, was still in the hospital. He told WANE 15 that he could not comment on the man’s injuries at this time, but should have an update early next week.

According to the Fort Wayne Police Department, around 11:35 p.m. police attempted to stop a vehicle for reckless driving near Harris Road and Olympia Court in Fort Wayne. Weikel, initially stopped, but then sped off.

Weikel led police on a high speed chase through northwest Allen, DeKalb and Noble County. Officers used stop sticks to attempt to end the chase. Police believe a tire was struck and the chase ended about 40 minutes later near East Waits Rd. and South Maple Street just outside of Johnson Mobile Home Park.

Around 12:15 a.m. officers on scene from multiple agencies used high risk tactics and Weikel began firing at officers. Officers from multiple agencies fired back. Police secured a perimeter and told residents to stay inside. The command center for the agencies involved was located at First Christian Church near State Road 3. SWAT with Indiana State Police and EST from FWPD arrived on scene and determined Weikel was in life threatening condition. A drone was used for aerial support.

At 1:43, Weikel was detained and transported to a Fort Wayne area hospital.

On WANE 15’s Facebook page, viewers questioned why it took a long period of time for the man to be captured. Sgt. Walker responded that he does not have any further detailed information of the exact chain of events that took place during the entire incident. He stated that the information will develop as investigators finished their interviews.

Sgt. Walker also confirmed that there were residents that were evacuated and/or warned of the situation by patrol officers as they set up a secure perimeter pending the arrival of SWAT officers.  He added that during these types of situations, officers cannot force residents to leave their homes if they so choose not to leave.

“Often times residents will choose to shelter in place within the confines of their home,” Sgt. Walker sent in a statement. “If residents choose to leave their residence, officer will not allow them to return until the incident and area has been rendered safe to return.”

Weikel had a warrant out for his arrest for meth related charges, according to police.

This is an ongoing criminal investigation. Once completed, the investigation will turn to the Noble County Prosecutor to review and determine criminal charges.

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