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Mitchell police officer shot during Lawrence Co. traffic stop leaves hospital

MITCHELL, Ind. (WISH) — The second of two police officers shot during a Sunday traffic stop in Lawrence County is now out of the hospital.

Mitchell Police Department officer Christian Anderson was sent home from IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and “is on the road to recovery,” Lawrence County Sheriff Greg Day said Wednesday.

The other wounded officer Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputy Joshua Rhoades, left the hospital Sunday.

“We pray for their continued healing. Their courage, dedication, and sacrifice to the community will forever be praised,” Sheriff Day said in a statement shared on Facebook.

Investigators have not said how many shots were fired at the officers. Deputy Rhoades was hit twice, while Officer Anderson was hit once in the shoulder. Both officers fired at the suspect, identified by police as 29-year-old Anthony Richmond, of West Baden Springs, who died at the scene.

Indiana State Police say the officers encountered Richmond during a traffic stop at around 3:15 a.m. Sunday in the 4800 block of State Road 37.

When a police K-9 indicated there were drugs in Richmond’s vehicle, Richmond ran across the street, pulled out a handgun, and fired, hitting both officers, ISP Sgt. John Perrine said Sunday.

One of the two officers returned fire, injuring Richmond. Other police at the scene gave Richmond medical aid, but he died in the ambulance.

Anderson was the first Mitchell police officer shot in the line of duty in 55 years. He is also the first Mitchell officer to survive a shooting while on duty, I-Team 8’s Richard Essex reported Monday.

Investigators have not said which one of the officers fired the fatal shot. Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies are equipped with body cameras and News 8 was told that state police investigators are reviewing the video.

“Unfortunately, this is a grim reminder of the dangers that our officers face every day,” Day said. “Yes, we live in a safe and supportive community compared to other places around the state and country, but even here, officers put their lives on the line every day. I am proud of my brothers and sisters in our law enforcement community. You, our citizens, are in good hands.”

Day says Sunday’s events have strengthened his resolve to arrest drug dealers in Lawrence County.

“Those who peddle the poison in our country are a danger to innocent citizens, the addicts who are struggling, and to our officers. The fact that two officers were shot over a large quantity of methamphetamine and other drugs underscores my very point. This has only hardened my resolve to ramp up efforts even more. This will not deter us from our mission,” Day said.