A man suspected in a homicide in Portage early this morning drove his car
into a police squad at high speed on U.S. Highway 20 in Porter, killing
himself and his 2-year-old son, whom he was holding in his lap at the time,
the Indiana State Police said.
Porter County Coroner Vicki Deppe identified the driver as Lawrence K. Hill,
40, with a last known address in Chicago; the child as Keahn Hill; and the
homicide victim as Dennis R. Williams, 29, of Gary.
The series of events began at 12:49 a.m. today, Portage Police said, when
officers were dispatched to a residence in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road
in response to a report of a disturbance between a male and female. On their
arrival, Portage Police said, officers found Williams lying dead on the
third-floor landing with multiple stab wounds. A 21-year-old woman at the
scene advised officers that Williams was a friend.
The woman gave this account, Portage Police said. Earlier in the evening,
while she and Williams were in her apartment, the door buzzer rang from the
outside. She went to investigate, at which point her ex-boyfriend barged
through the sliding glass patio doors. She and her ex-boyfriend began to
argue heatedly about their 2-year-old son—asleep in the apartment—and in the
course of the argument he held a knife to her throat and tried to escort her
outside. Williams intervened and was then stabbed to death, and as she was
running outside to call for help the woman observed her ex-boyfriend leave in
his 1993 Buick Regal. She subsequently discovered that her son was missing.
Portage Police immediately alerted local law enforcement agencies of the
homicide and the apparent kidnapping and broadcast a description of the
ex-boyfriend’s Buick. At approximately 1:29 a.m. a Beverly Shores police
officer spotted the suspect vehicle eastbound on U.S. Highway 12 in the area
of Ind. 520, the ISP said, and followed it as it turned around to go
westbound on U.S. 20 from The Pines. Officers from the Chesterton, Porter,
Burns Harbor, Portage and Porter County Sheriff’s departments eventually fell
into line behind the BSPD officer.
The driver of the Buick, subsequently identified as Hill, was not driving at
high speed, the ISP said, and “none of the police cars had their emergency
lights nor sirens activated.”
Meanwhile, west of the caravan, an ISP trooper parked off the highway at
Mineral Springs Road and deployed stop sticks in the middle of westbound U.S.
20, the ISP said, while a PCSP officer activated the emergency lights on his
fully marked 2005 Ford Crown Victoria squad and then parked it facing
eastbound in the westbound lanes of U.S. 20 just east of Beam Street.
Hill ran over the stop sticks deployed by the ISP trooper, the ISP said, but
continued westbound on U.S. 20, and was observed by the PCSP officer to
accelerate and “intentionally” aim his Buick at the Crown Victoria.
The PCSP officer was able to run into a wooded area and escape injury just
before Hill struck the Crown Victoria head on, the ISP said.
Hill was pronounced dead at the scene and had to be extricated from the Buick
by Porter firefighters, Porter Fire Chief Lewis Craig told the Chesterton
The 2-year-old Keahn, whom Hill was holding on his lap, was thrown from the
Buick and landed on the pavement.
Craig said that he was able to detect a weak heartbeat and arrangements were
being made to airlift Keahn to a trauma center, with Shelton Fireworks as the
staging area, when the decision was made to transport the child to Porter
Portage Hospital Campus, where he later died.
Craig called the accident one of the worst he’s ever seen.
Deppe said that autopsies were being conducted on all three victims.
Portage Police said that their investigation is continuing.