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Gary police catch fatal shooting in progress, shoot armed man; union says officers performed in ‘heroic fashion’

Gary police early Sunday responded to a shooting in progress, exchanging gunfire with a man they wounded and would later arrest on suspicion of homicide, authorities said.

According to a news release from the Gary Police Department, at 2:30 a.m., officers responded to the 700 block of Broadway, near a nightclub, for a call of shots fired. But as they worked to disperse the crowd, “officers heard additional shots and went to investigate,” Lt. Dawn Westerfield, a police spokeswoman, wrote in an email. The officers found two men, one on the ground and another standing near him, weapon drawn, shooting at the victim.

“Officers engaged the male shooter and he exchanged gunfire with officers,” according to Westerfield.

The gunman was shot once in the leg by an officer, she said. He was taken to a hospital, where his condition was stabilized. He was being treated for the gunshot wound and guarded by officers following his arrest. Westerfield did not release the man’s name.

The man on the ground, later determined to be a 28-year-old, was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of his injuries, officials said. His slaying will be investigated by Gary’s homicide division. The Lake County coroner’s office had not released his name Sunday.

The shooting by police will be investigated by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Westerfield said.

No officers were injured in the exchange of gunfire, authorities said.

Gregory Wolf, union president of the Gary Fraternal Order of Police, praised the bravery of the officers for their quick actions.

“We are happy to report that no other citizens or police officers were injured during the incident,” Wolf wrote in an emailed statement.

“We as the Gary FOP are confident that the investigation will show that the officers and members of the Gary FOP performed in heroic fashion using their training and bravery to stop the threat of anyone else being injured or killed,” he said.

kdouglas@chicagotribune.com

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