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Inmate takes control of Marion County Sheriff’s Office van, deputy killed

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm, 61, was killed when an inmate attacked him and took control of a Marion County Sheriff’s Office van Monday morning.

The attack happened just before 11:30 a.m., according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Durm was returning from taking an inmate, identified as 34-year-old Orlando Mitchell, to a medical appointment when Mitchell assaulted him inside the sally port of the Adult Detention Center.

Mitchell stole the transport vehicle and drove it out of the Criminal Justice Center Complex located at 675 Justice Way. He crashed nearby in the 3000 block of Prospect Street.

Marion County deputies and IMPD officers took Mitchell into custody. Mitchell was taken to Eskenazi Hospital for treatment. One deputy received minor injuries from apprehending Mitchell, and was treated on scene.

Durm was taken to Eskenazi Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead by hospital staff.

Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said in a conference Monday afternoon that Durm was a 38-year veteran of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Forestal remembered Durm fondly. “John was just a good guy. He really was. 38 years, you can’t give that much law enforcement to the community and (it not) mean something,” he said.

Forestal also shared that Durm’s wife has been a deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years, and one of his sons is in training at the Marion County Detention Deputy Academy. Durm has two other sons who are in the Air Force.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb shared his condolences to Durm’s family and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in a statement Monday afternoon.

It pains me to attempt putting into words again the unfathomable loss of a man in uniform who was protecting Hoosiers from harm’s way. Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm made the ultimate sacrifice, and we owe him our utmost gratitude.

Janet and I are praying for his family, loved ones and for the law enforcement community.

Gov. Eric Holcomb

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office thanked the community for the support given in a tweet Monday night. They also encouraged community members to visit a recreation of Durm’s wagon in the northeast corner of the Criminal Justice Center public parking area.

Indianapolis City-County Council members paid tribute to Durm during Monday night’s meeting, beginning the meeting with a moment of silence in Durm’s honor.

Orlando Mitchell.
(Provided Photo/IMPD)

IMPD also says that Mitchell has a violent history. Online jail records show Mitchell was being held on murder charges from a case in September 2022.

Investigators say Mitchell shot and killed Krystal Walton, the mother of his child, outside a daycare on the morning of Sept. 16, 2022.

IMPD officers found and shot Mitchell about three hours later, as he was holding a rifle at a bus stop near North Delaware and 10th Streets.

According to IMPD, Mitchell’s apprehension on Monday was caught on body cameras and will be used for further investigation.

Mitchell will also be placed under arrest for murder once he is released from the hospital.

Police also say Prospect Street between Sherman Drive and Keystone Avenue will be shut down for the next few hours.

Monday’s death marks the third death of a law enforcement officer in the past two weeks.