MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A northwest Indiana police officer shot when responding to a call about an evicted tenant was on life support Saturday, and a coroner said the suspected gunman killed himself during the confrontation.
Merrillville officer Nickolaus Schultz, 24, was shot in the head Friday night at a condominium, police said. He was initially taken to a hospital in Merrillville and then moved in critical condition to a trauma center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, said Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Robert Byrd.
On Saturday, Byrd described the officer’s condition as “very grave” and said he remained on life support.
Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey said late Saturday afternoon that the man believed to be the shooter, Michael Hrnciar, 33, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during Friday’s incident.
Schultz and other officers were responding to a call about an evicted tenant who had apparently moved back into the condo in Merrillville, about 40 miles southeast of Chicago. Byrd said Hrnciar had been evicted from the condo in July due to a foreclosure.
He said Hrnciar was armed with a handgun and wearing body armor. “I would surmise he expected a confrontation sometime,” Byrd said.
He added that police found fireworks and what appeared to be explosive devices inside the condo. “It’s not clear whether they were bombs,” Byrd said.
Cmdr. Don Foley of the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force said a bomb squad that was called to the scene determined it was safe.
Hrnciar had no criminal record and it’s not clear if he had any history of mental instability, Byrd said.
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