Chesterton Tribune



South Haven man who lunges at sheriff deputy with knife is fatally shot

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A Porter County Sheriff’s Police deputy fatally shot a man on Wednesday after the man threatened another deputy with a knife in a South Haven residence.

The Indiana State Police--which is investigating the shooting at the request of Sheriff Dave Reynolds--has identified the victim as Kevin Grant Vawter, 46. The Coroner’s Office was scheduled to perform an autopsy today.

The PCSP has identified the deputy as Officer Nathan Graf, a five-year veteran of the PCSP. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, “as is typical with any officer involved in a deadly force incident.”

According to the ISP, at 5:36 p.m. Graf and two other deputies responded to a residence in the 700 block of McCool Road to assist EMS with a suicidal subject who resided at the home. On their arrival, the deputies observed through a window “a male who was bloody” and forced entry into the residence. At this point the man--later identified as Vawter--“went after one of the officers, who Tased him,” the ISP said.

As a second deputy attempted to handcuff Vawter, “the male got up and lunged at the officer with a knife,” the ISP said. Graf then shot Vawter.

The deputies “immediately began lifesaving measures” until the arrival of EMS personnel, who then transported Vawter to Porter Regional Hospital, where he subsequently died, the ISP said.

“Further investigation revealed the call had been made by a family member who had been battered by the male just prior to the call,” the ISP said.

“All three officers were wearing body cameras at the time of the incident,” the ISP noted. The other two deputies at the scene have been returned to regular police duties.

“The investigation is ongoing and this is all the information that will be released at this time,” the ISP added. “When the investigation is completed it will be turned over to the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office.”





Posted 1/24/2019




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