Suspect in kidnapping, rape case kills self in standoff with police

Crime Watch 8

BREAKING

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) – Paul Etter, 55, who has been in a standoff with police since early Thursday afternoon, has killed himself, the Boone County sheriff said about 6:30 p.m.

The sheriff said authorities from multiple agencies had worked at the scene.

Authorities said no shots were fired by Etter, but snipers shot out the tires and fired gas toward the vehicle to keep Etter from leaving the scene and endangering police and others.

The sheriff said Etter fired two shots in committing suicide.

HAPPENING NOW: Boone County authorities are providing an update on the hours-long standoff with Paul Etter, the suspect in a rape and kidnapping.

Posted by WISH-TV on Thursday, June 27, 2019

PREVIOUS

LEBANON, Ind. (WLFI) —  Police in Boone County are involved in a standoff with Paul Etter, according to deputies on scene.

According to Boone County PIO Wesley Garst, deputies were called to check out a suspicious car on State Road 39. Police found a man inside with a firearm. Police are currently in negotiations with the man. Garst said there was nobody else inside with him.

Neighbors are being advised to stay home. If people do need to leave, police are escorting people, according to Garst. 

LIVE: Authorities in Boone County talk about a standoff with Paul Etter, who is accused of kidnapping and rape. News conference from Witham Hospital in Lebanon.

Posted by WISH-TV on Thursday, June 27, 2019
Boone County authorities discussed the Paul Etter standoff with the news media shortly after 5 p.m. June 27, 2019, outside Witham Hospital in Lebanon, Indiana. From WISH-TV Facebook page.
According to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, 300 North is closed from State Road 39 to 375 North near Lebanon, Indiana, on the afternoon of June 27, 2019, due to police activity in the area. (WLFI Photo/Anna Darling)

The Zionsville Police Department, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office, Lebanon Police and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office are all responding. 

According to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, 300 North is closed from State Road 39 to 375 North. 

Etter, 55, has been on the run for several days.

Etter is facing seven preliminary charges including rape, attempted rape, two counts of kidnapping, criminal confinement and sexual battery after allegedly abducting a woman on the morning of June 22.

A command center has been set up at Witham Hospital. Deputies on scene said Etter wants media attention. 

Authorities are gathered at Witham Hospital in connection to a police standoff on June 27, 2019. (WLFI Photo/Anna Darling)

According to court documents, a woman called police and said she was driving home on County Road 900 East in Tippecanoe County when she got a flat tire around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. She said she pulled into a driveway and a man asked her if she needed help. She told police she did not know the man, and thought he was suspicious.

Documents say she then left and drove up County Road 900 East to a friend’s house with the flat tire. The man followed her in a car and documents say he approached the woman and put her in handcuffs. He then put her into his car and drove to another location, according to prosecutors.

According to court documents, he held her against her will for several hours. At one point, prosecutors say she tried to make a phone call with her Apple Watch. The man noticed, took it off and crushed it on the ground, according to prosecutors.

Court documents say the man then took the woman to what she described as a barn. He put shackles on her ankles and chained her to a desk, according to court documents. Around 9:30 a.m., prosecutors say the man took her back to her parked car and let her go.

The victim and a friend drove around to try to spot where she was taken, and prosecutors say they saw the man on 775 East. The victim then called police.

When police arrived, deputies saw a man drive away in a vehicle. Court documents say another man approached officers and said the man who drove away was Paul Etter. The woman was shown a picture of Etter, and she identified him as the man who prosecutors say took her.

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