A firefighter was fatally shot and an officer injured when a stranded motorist stopped to help open fire, the Indiana State Police said.
The driver, identified as Justin Moore, of Owensboro, Kentucky, died after he was shot by the officer.
The incident occurred on SR 135 just south of Palmyra shortly before 9: 30 p.m. Monday. State police said Moore had apparently run out of gas and pulled his car to the side of the highway. He asked a resident in the area for gas or money so he could buy some fuel and then return to his car, the state police said in a news release.
Reserve officer Zachary Holly arrived at the scene a short time later, with the Palmyra Police Department. Jacob McClanahan and a friend who were passing by in their pick-up truck stopped to help.
Holly asked Moore if there were any weapons in the car, and Moore said they were not. Moore had a small knife in his possession and was asked to place the knife inside the vehicle, according to the police.
The news release states that as Justin Moore entered his car to return the knife, he quickly turned around and fired at Officer Holly. Officer Holly returned fire with his department pistol. Justin Moore shot the shotgun a second time and fatally struck Jacob McClanahan. Officer Holly fatally shot Justin Moore after he returned fire with his department weapon. According to state police, Holly was taken to Harrison County Hospital for minor injuries. The Palmyra Police Department did not return a request for comment on Saturday.
State police said McClanahan, a volunteer firefighter with the Ramsey Fire Department, was a good Samaritan who was trying to help.
It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of one of our firefighters Jacob T. McClanahan! Jacob never had a negative word to say about anything that was going on and always looked at the brighter side of things! Jacob T will be missed around here, the fire department said in a Facebook post. Please keep The McClanahan family in your prayers! It is not clear why Moore was traveling in Indiana. The shooting remains under investigation.