St. John, Indiana police officer charged in shooting
ST. JOHN, Indiana (CBS) – The St. John, Indiana Police Chief announced that one of his officers faces criminal charges for shooting another officer from another city.
CBS 2’s Noel Brennan was in St. John to break down the story.
Two months ago we heard different versions of the same story from two different police departments in Northwest Indiana.
On Wednesday we learned that the St. John Police Department has an officer charged with a felony. The mayor of nearby Hammond was delighted.
The chief of the St. John Police Department read a statement but did not answer questions about the new charges against officer Philip J. Fabian.
At 2:30 a.m. on November 29, St. John Police said Fabian was looking for an abandoned car near West 93rd and Cline. As the police announced at the time, a car drove towards Fabian and almost hit him.
Police said the officer feared for his life and fired several shots at the car before chasing the driver and taking him into custody.
The driver turned out to be an off-duty Hammond cop on his way to work.
On Wednesday, St. John Police said Fabian faces one charge of criminal recklessness and one charge of criminal mischief.
Charges against a St. John, Indiana police officer involved in shooting another police officer 02:29
The Mayor of Hammond watched Wednesday’s news conference and spoke about the Hammond Police Officer involved in the incident, a 13-year veteran of the department.
“I know him personally,” said Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. “He’s excellent. He didn’t deserve to be treated like that. He didn’t deserve to be tied in the back seat of a St. John police car for two hours, even after identifying himself as a Hammond cop. It’s not right what’s happening, and I’m glad the Lake County Attorney’s Office is moving forward. I think it’s totally appropriate.
He added the incident “shook our officer up”.
The St. John’s police chief was not taking questions about the case, but he called what happened on November 29 “unfortunate.”
CBS 2 has been told there is a body camera of the incident. The Mayor of Hammond said he did not see the video in person, but “I was told it was shocking.”
The St. John policeman is still on paid leave, and Hammond’s mayor is hoping he won’t come back.
“A felony charge against a police officer is career ending, and I think that’s the most important part to me,” McDermott said.
St. John Police said Fabian joined the department in June last year. The department said his future as a St. John police officer is in the hands of the safety committee and the city.