Elkhart body camera didn’t work during Sunday shooting, investigation begins

(Sam Householder/Elkhart Truth)

Questions remain after a shooting Sunday morning involving police officers and they may not be answered for awhile.

That’s because the body cameras that Elkhart Police officers weren’t working at the time. Indiana State Police investigators say it could take weeks or months to figure out what exactly happened because of the faulty camera, according to the Elkhart Truth.

Just one of the two officers were issued a new body camera, 80 of which were divvied out to officers last fall. Some cameras have needed to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair.

The officers who fired their weapons are Sergeant Nathan Lanzen, an 8 year veteran of the Elkhart police Department and Corporal Leonard Dolshenko, a 7 year veteran of the Elkhart Police Department. Both officers are on administrative leave pending further department follow up.

It was around 3:40 a.m. that officers were sent to an address in the 500 block of Capitol Boulevard in regard to a burglary. During that investigation, officers heard sounds of gunfire coming from the area of the 1800 block of DeCamp Avenue and responded on foot to investigate.

During an encounter with individuals leaving the DeCamp Avenue scene, Lanzen and Dolshenko discharged their weapons at a car which crashed.

Inside the vehicle, police found Norman Gary, 29, of Elkhart dead. Another person in the vehicle was injured. A third person was found injured nearby on DeCamp. A fourth individual arrived at Elkhart General Hospital also suffering injuries. The three survivors are said to be in their 20s.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese said its not known who shot who and that the Indiana State Police investigation would help determine that. Neese asked anyone with information to call police.

Elkhart police Sgt. Chris Snyder said the department is waiting for state police to complete their investigation into the shooting death of Gary. Snyder also said there is no indication race played a role in the shooting. Both officers are white, the victim was black.

There have been no arrests in connection with the burglary call, according to police. At this time, the report of the burglary does not appear to be connected with the shooting incidents.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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