A shooting in which two Gary police officers were injured and a suspect was fatally shot Monday night is connected to the homicide of a woman who was found dead at a Merrillville hotel, police confirmed.
On Monday afternoon, Gary police responded to a location in the 2500 block of Waverly Drive, which is at the Westbrook Apartment complex, to assist the Merrillville Police Dept. in searching for Keenan McCain, 29, who was identified as a suspect in the death of 45-year-old Betty Claudio.
Police say that the two were in a relationship for approximately a month prior to the attack.
Police then followed McCain to an apartment in Gary, where he barricaded himself inside. He told officers he had a gun, according to police.
"At that point, officers backed off, set up a perimeter, and Gary SWAT team was called to make the scene safe," Merrillville Police Detective Aaron Ridgway said.
After two hours of negotiations, the SWAT team decided to enter the residence at which time two SWAT officers were shot, police said.
The officers, Cpl. James Nielsen, a 17-year veteran, and Cpl. John Artibey, a 14-year veteran, were both hospitalized and listed in stable condition.
Cpl. Nielsen sustained a gunshot wound to the chest which was stopped by his bulletproof gear and a second gunshot wound to the arm. Cpl. Artibey was injured by shrapnel that hit his abdomen and chin, according to police.
McCain died from injuries sustained in the shooting.
At the scene of the shooting Monday night, McCain's brother and mother said what happened remains unclear, and they want answers from police.
"...My son was a good person," McCain's mother said. "He loved his kids and he worked. We need answers."
Police say that McCain had a violent past. He had a prior order of protection taken out against him by a woman in Marion County. He also had an active warrant out for his arrest in connection with a strangulation in Marion County, and also faced charges of intimidation with a firearm in connection with the incident.
The Lake County Sheriff's Dept. is leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.