State police, family remember slain trooper

WABASH, Ind. (WANE) Dave Rich was on his way home around 4 p.m. on July 5, 2007, when he came up on a disabled motorist along U.S. 24 in Wabash County. He would never make it home.

David Rich

Rich, a master trooper with the Indiana State Police, pulled his unmarked police car up to the vehicle. As he approached, a man inside fired a shotgun blast at Rich’s chest through a partially opened driver’s side window.

The 41-year-old Rich was found dead along the side of the road by a passing state excise officer, who stopped to check on what he thought was a personal injury crash.

The crime scene along U.S. 24 in Wabash County where Indiana State Police Master Trooper David Rich was shot to death on July 5, 2007, is shown via helicopter.

The shooter – 21-year-old Joseph M. Vultaggio, Jr. of Gaylord, Michigan – reloaded the shotgun and killed himself inside the SUV he’d stolen from his father the day before. It was never learned why Vultaggio was stopped along the side of U.S. 24 or why he shot Rich.

Ten years later, the memory and selfless service of Rich was remembered in a service in Wabash on Wednesday. Members of the Indiana State Police Peru Post and the family of Rich gathered to remember and honor him at The David Rich Memorial Park located at the tri-intersection of Wabash Street, Stitt Street, and Manchester Avenue in Wabash.