Friends, family and former colleagues are in mourning on Tuesday after a retired police officer was shot and killed while trying to break up a disturbance at the Indiana hospital where he worked as a security guard.
According to authorities, 59-year-old Ryan Askew was responding to a call of a patient assaulting a nurse at Community Hospital in Munster when he was attacked himself and placed into a chokehold.
Askew was shot by another security guard who responded to the incident, and later died from his injuries.
The suspect in the case, identified as a 22-year-old man, also died, and a second security officer was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Now, Askew’s family and neighbors are recalling what a dedicated worker he was, and how he would always sacrifice for the benefit of others.
“He would do whatever he has to do to serve,” Askew’s daughter Dajanay said. “The fact he risked his life to save someone else, it generally speaks to who he is as a person.”
Askew was a member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years, retiring as a commander in 2004. He then got a job as a security guard at the hospital, according to his family.
“He died doing what he loved best,” Kenny Greer, Askew’s cousin, said.
Askew’s neighbors also spoke of his willingness to help others, no matter the situation.
“My kids were locked out of the house, and he took them in with no problem and no questions,” his neighbor Diane Tyson said.
In a statement, Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. described Askew as a “dedicated professional,” and said the department is mourning his tragic loss.
“We are deeply saddened and shocked to lose a retired officer in such a horrific incident,” Sherriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said in a statement. “He was a dedicated professional.”
Askew’s daughter says that his actions during the incident speak to his character, and although her father won’t be able to see her graduate with a Master’s degree later this year, what he taught her will remain in hear heart.
“He always put his family first and he put me first, and he provided me with an awesome life,” she said.