One of the shooting victims from Monday night's incident in Cromwell is transported to an ambulance.
One of the shooting victims from Monday night's incident in Cromwell is transported to an ambulance.
CROMWELL – One person is dead and two others are in serious condition after a shootout in Cromwell Monday night.
First Sgt. Chad Hill, public information officer for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Dept., confirmed this morning that Gary W. Helman, 56, of 9174 E. Doswell Blvd., Cromwell, was shot and killed.
According to Hill, three bounty hunters attempted to serve on Helman a failure to appear warrant out of Kosciusko courts stemming from felony charges for resisting law enforcement and battery resulting in bodily injury. The three bounty hunters were identified as Daniel Foster, 43, LaPorte; Michael C. Thomas, 36, Osceola; and Tad Martin, no age available, Osceola.
The bounty hunters had reportedly made visual identification of Helman as he stood on the back deck of his residence. They engaged Helman and a subsequent gun battle ensued inside and outside of the residence, according to Hill.
Struck by gunshots were Martin and Helman’s twin brother, Larry D. Helman, who also lived at the residence. They suffered multiple gunshot wounds to their extremities and were in serious condition. One was taken to Parkview Hospital and the other to Lutheran Hospital, both in Fort Wayne.
When KCSD officers arrived at the scene, they located Martin and Larry Helman in the rear of the residence suffering from serious gunshot wounds. Officers also entered the home and located Gary Helman suffering from a critical gunshot wound. Officers secured the scene as Syracuse-Turkey Creek EMS arrived and began medical treatment on Martin and Larry Helman. Kosciusko County Coroner Mike Wilson was summoned to the scene where he pronounced Gary Helman dead from gunshot injuries.
Officers retrieved firearms from the scene that were involved in the shooting.
Foster and Thomas were taken in by law enforcement for interviews but were released pending further investigation.
The mother of Larry and Gary Helman was interviewed by detectives. She was a witness at the residence, but was not identified by name by Hill.
County records show the Cromwell property is owned by Virgil L. and Atta Belle Helman.
On Sept. 27, 2013, a KCSD officer attempted to serve an active warrant for the arrest of Gary Helman, according to a Nov. 26, 2013, Times-Union story. The officer reportedly arrived at the residence and saw the man’s brother standing near a shed in a wooded area on the property. While the officer was speaking with Michael Helman, Gary emerged from the trees and allegedly began yelling at the officer.
The officer told Gary he was placing him under arrest and the man reportedly began running toward his residence. The officer detained Gary, who resisted and grabbed the officer’s arm and twisted it. The officer freed himself and activated his stun gun on Gary. Gary freed himself from the stun gun and he and his brother fled into their residence. Both men were arrested on charges stemming from the incident.
According to an April 10, 2009, Times-Union story, Helman, then 50, was shot twice on the night of April 9 after a nine-hour standoff in front of his Cromwell home. He was shot by members of the Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team after police say he reached for a gun in his waistband. ISP attempted to serve warrants to Helman shortly after 10 a.m. that morning, one of which was for pointing a firearm.
A day before that incident, Helman sent a letter to the Times-Union claiming his rights had been violated by state police and that two state troopers attempted to murder him with a vehicle. State police had been at Helman’s property a month prior in an unsuccessful attempt to serve warrants. The letter asked for protection from both Whitley and Kosciusko County sheriff’s departments, although neither agency was involved in the April 9 standoff.
Hill said detectives and crime scene investigators are in constant communication with county prosecutor Dan Hampton in regards to Monday’s shooting event.
KCSD also was assisted by the Indiana State Police at the crime scene location.