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Indiana man’s escape at end of jail transport results in police shootout

UPDATE: The officer who shot Lopez has been identified as Jasper County Deputy Kevin Holm-Hansen.

KENTLAND, Ind. (WISH) — A Gary man in transit from one jail to another Wednesday managed to escape and get a gun, resulting in a shootout between him and police, according to Indiana State Police.

Jayme Lopez, 36, was being moved Wednesday from Iroquois County Jail in Illinois to Newton County Jail in Indiana, according to the Indiana State Police. Lopez has an active warrant out of Newton County causing his need for transportation between jails.

Upon arrival just after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Newton County Jail, Lopez escaped from the transport vehicle, police say.

According to police, officers from around the area responded quickly and set up a perimeter to begin searching for Lopez.

Two and a half hours later, troopers with ISP located Lopez at an apartment at 707 E. Lincoln St. in Kentland. Police first safely evacuated the apartment building of other people and set up a perimeter. Lopez had obtained a firearm at some point after he escaped and entered an apartment, police say.

Jasper County Sheriff’s Tactical Squad was contacted, according to police. The squad immediately arrived to negotiate with Lopez. He fired multiple shots from inside the apartment toward officers, police say. One of the squad officers returned fire, striking Lopez. He then surrendered to officers who immediately gave medical aid to Lopez.

A helicopter later took Lopez to a South Bend area hospital. Lopez’s condition was unknown, police say.

Police did not say how Lopez managed to escape from the transport vehicle.

Police continued Wednesday night to investigate.