St. John Police Officer Faces Charges For Shooting Into Car Driven By Off-Duty Cop

Police chief made announcement in an “effort to be transparent” before prosecutor formally charges officer.

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The police chief in St. John, Indiana announced Wednesday afternoon that one of his officers faces criminal charges for shooting into a car driven by an off-duty officer.

“I’ve been advised by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office that Officer Philip J. Fabian will be charged with Count 1 – Criminal Recklessness, a Level 6 Felony, and Count II – Criminal Mischief, a Class A Misdemeanor,” said St. John Police Chief Steven Flores.

Chief Flores says his officer “fired several gunshots at a moving vehicle.”

“It was unfortunate. That’s all I can tell you,” said Chief Flores.

The Chief said the body camera video of the shooting will be released after the prosecutor formally announces the charges.

"I was told (the body camera video) is shocking, how blatant and disproportionate the use of force was," said Mayor Thomas McDermott of Hammond, Indiana.

Mayor McDermott came to the Police Department in nearby St. John to hear the police chief make the announcement about his officer.

"It was dangerous what (the officer) did. I was afraid it was going to be swept under the rug," said Mayor McDermott.

Mayor McDermott says the St. John officer should not be allowed to work in law enforcement ever again.

"Obviously firing a weapon at any civilian for a traffic infraction is outrageous but then when our person identifies himself as a Hammond Police Officer, totally outfitted as a Hammond Police Officer, they cuff him in the back of the car for two hours. That’s outrageous," said Mayor McDermott.

Chief Flores says the officer's future on the St. John Police Department will be determined by the town's Board of Safety.

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