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Marion County Deputy Killed in Attack by Inmate Outside Criminal Justice Center

INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion County sheriff’s deputy died Monday after officials said he was attacked by an inmate.

Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal confirmed Deputy John Durm, 61, died from his injuries in the attack. Durm is survived by a wife, four children, his parents and several other family members. 

Officials said Durm, who had been with the sheriff’s office for 38 years, was returning from Eskenazi Hospital with an inmate. That inmate, later identified as 34-year-old Orlando Mitchell, allegedly attacked Durm outside of the Criminal Justice Center.

After attacking Durm, officials said Mitchell then took control of the van and drove it out of the Criminal Justice Center, where he crashed right outside the complex along the 3000 block of Prospect Street, near South Keystone Avenue, around 11:30 a.m.

“This isn’t his first alleged violent act in this community,” Forestal said of Mitchell, who had minor injuries in the crash and was taken to Eskenazi Hospital.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will make the final charging decisions.

The procession route for Durm will go from Eskenazi Hospital at St. Margaret’s Drive, then east on Michigan Street, south on West Street, and west on McCarty Street to the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

The coroner’s office will determine Durm’s manner and cause of death, which is expected to be released Tuesday afternoon.

Prospect Street, between Sherman Drive and Keystone Avenue, was shut down for hours as the investigation continued

Governor Holcomb mourned the loss of Deputy Durm in a statement:

“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.”

Officials said another deputy suffered minor injuries while apprehending Mitchell after the crash and was treated at the scene.

The jail and Criminal Justice Center are secured, according to police.

Orlando Mitchell’s criminal history

Orlando Mitchell, 34, was previously charged with the murder of Krystal Walton, 32, at an Indianapolis day care center, Charity Child Care, on the near west side of Indianapolis in Sept. 16, 2022.

Mitchell had a history of domestic abuse against Walton, the mother of his 1-year-old son, before her murder.

According to court documents, Mitchell’s mother had gone to the scene of the shooting, telling officers Orlando had threatened to kill Walton and make it a “murder-suicide.” Court documents also claim that her son told her, “If he couldn’t see his son, she wasn’t gonna be in his life either.”

During the arrest, Mitchell got out of his car holding an AR-15 style rifle and allegedly pointed the gun at officers. Officers in bodycam footage from the arrest can be heard yelling for him to “drop the weapon.” Police then fired several shots, hitting Mitchell in the leg.

IMPD’s video also shows an arrest team using a protective shield while they approached Mitchell and secured his rifle before handcuffs were put on.

Officers also found a handgun in a holster in the front waistband of Mitchell’s pants.

No police were injured in the shooting, and Mitchell was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Leading up to the shooting at the day care center, Mitchell was charged with domestic battery in the presence of a child, breaking and entering, invasion of privacy, violating a no-contact order and intimidation.

Mitchell’s jury trial for the murder of Walton is currently set for Oct. 24, 2023.

History of Marion County sheriff’s deputy deaths

The last time the Marion County Sheriff’s Office lost a deputy in the line of duty was May 10, 2002. Deputy Kay Gregory died in a crash. She was delivering documents to the courthouse when a driver ran a red light and hit her car.

On Sept. 17,  2001, Deputy Jason Baker was killed in the line of duty after a suspect he had been chasing got out of their car and shot Baker. Michael Shannon pleaded guilty to killing Baker and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Heroes of Public Safety section of Crown Hill was developed after September 11, 2001 and the death of Baker later that week. The idea was to have a section to “memorialize the fallen heroes among public safety personnel locally, statewide and nationally.”

Source : WTHR