MERRILLVILLE — A suspect accused of entering a car dealership armed with a knife Wednesday is dead following an officer-involved shooting at Art Hill Ford Lincoln dealership on U.S. 30, authorities have confirmed.
The 30-year-old man was identified Wednesday afternoon by the Lake County Coroner’s office as Jimmy Terry, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance, a spokesman for the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, said the task force is investigating the shooting that involved Merrillville police.
Merrillville police were called out at 11:38 a.m. to Art Hill Ford Lincoln, 901 W. Lincoln Highway, after receiving a 911 call that a man was armed with a knife and “chasing an employee” inside the dealership, Mance said.
As officers arrived, Mance said they received updated information from 911 dispatch that Terry had entered a dark colored Jeep, believed to be his own, in an attempt to leave the dealership. Mance said he has received some preliminary information that Terry allegedly demanded keys to a vehicle when he entered the dealership.
A traffic stop was conducted, during which Terry was shot by police, Mance said.
In an effort to preserve the integrity of the investigation, Mance declined to say what factors led to the police-involved shooting, saying there were several witnesses who are being interviewed.
Mance confirmed Terry was armed with a knife when he was shot. He was taken to Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville, where he was pronounced dead.
The coroner’s office said Wednesday afternoon Terry died from gunshot wounds in a homicide. He was pronounced dead at 12:12 p.m. at the hospital.
Officers with the task force, the Merrillville Police Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Department gathered at the scene just after noon Wednesday.
A dark-colored Laredo Jeep with a South Dakota license plate was parked in front of the dealership entrance. At least one shell casing and several other items were identified at the scene with yellow evidence markers.
Merrillville Police Chief Joe Petruch said two Merrillville officers are on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues, per department protocol.