A Fort Wayne Police officer died after chasing down a suspect Monday night.
David A. Tinsley, a 16-year veteran of the department, died of from Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease according to an autopsy report issued Wednesday morning from the Allen County Coroner’s Office.
The incident started near Southcrest and Kent roads, just south of Bishop Luers High School.
Officers were alerted to a vehicle that matched the description of a stolen car and tried to make a traffic stop. The suspect took off in the vehicle and tried to run from police, according to officials.
The man drove about a mile west to the Candlelite Apartment Complex, just south of Fairfield Avenue and Airport Expressway.
Police said the suspect drove to the back part of the complex before jumping a curb, going down an embankment and driving onto the Rivergreenway along the St. Marys River. Officers pursued the man and he eventually crashed into a wooded area along the trail.
Police spokesman Michael Joyner said at that point, Tinsley, his officer in training, and a K9 went onto the greenway path on foot to search for the suspect. The suspect – 49-year old Patrick Anthony Faiers of Fort Wayne – was taken into custody by police a short time later.
Joyner said as Tinsley was walking back to his cruiser, though, he collapsed.
Officers began resuscitation efforts on Tinsley and medics took him to St. Joseph Hospital. He was pronounced dead soon afterward.
Dozens of officers with the Fort Wayne Police Department gathered at the hospital to console each other and the family of the officer who died.
Tinsley worked operations in the police department’s southeast quadrant for most of his 16 years on the force. During a press conference later Tuesday, Police Chief Steve Reed called Tinsley “a cop’s cop,” a veteran officer who “came to work and took care of business.”
Reed said Tinsley was known for his kindness and work ethic, especially.
“He was a good cop,” Reed said. “You’d hear his name only in good light.”
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry called Tinsley a “respected and valued member of the FWPD team,” and said he would be missed. The mayor issued this statement:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Tinsley family during this most difficult time. We’re fortunate to live in a community that appreciates and understands the important role that law enforcement has in our everyday lives. We’re a safer and stronger City because of the men and women of the FWPD.”
Henry asked that flags in the city be flown at half-staff until Tinsley is laid to rest in his honor.
Tinsley is survived by his wife, Kristina, and three children.
A calling will be held Sunday from 3-7 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church at 917 W. Jefferson Blvd. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the church, with another calling one-hour prior.
Tinsley will be buried at Lindenwood Cemetery.
Faiers was arrested and initially charged with Habitual Traffic Violator and Resisting Law Enforcement, both felonies. Additional charges of Burglary, Auto Theft, Criminal Mischief and Criminal Trespass were later brought against him.