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Indiana shooting involves police officers from 2 different departments

Indiana shooting involves police officers from 2 different departments
Indiana shooting involves police officers from 2 different departments 02:12

ST. JOHN, Ind. (CBS) -- Two police departments are at odds over a shooting that included an officer and an off-duty officer from a different town.

It all started when an officer from St. John, Indiana opened fire at a vehicle he said was trying to run him down. But behind the wheel of that car was another officer from nearby Hammond. CBS 2's Andrew Ramos tried to sort out what happened.

What's adding to the confusion to this already disturbing incident: two different narratives told by the two different police departments.

Investigators with he Lake County Sheriff's Department were on the scene on Tuesday afternoon, surveying the shoulder along Cline Avenue near West 93rd Avenue, looking for any evidence that could help shed light on what happened 12 hours earlier.

According to St. John police, it was around 2:30 a.m. when an officer, who has not been identified, was on the side of the road investigating an abandoned suspicious vehicle. It was at that point the officer said he saw a car traveling toward him, nearly striking him.

Fearing for his life, the officer fired several shots at the fleeing car.

The officer later caught up to the driver, who was placed into custody. But here's where everything gets interesting.

Earlier on Tuesday, the mayor of Hammond, Indiana, Tom McDermott Jr., revealed in a post on Facebook that the driver of the vehicle was in fact an off-duty Hammond police officer who was in his own personal car heading home. And he insisted the officer did nothing wrong.

According to McDermott, his officer maneuvered his vehicle to the other side of the road to give the St. John police officer space during the traffic stop.

The mayor, who spoke to CBS 2 over the phone, said the account St. John police are taking is "outrageous."

He also added the officer who decided to use deadly force is "a danger to society" and doesn't "deserve to wear the badge."

Both officers walked away from the incident unscathed, with no injuries reported.

As the Lake County Sheriff's Department continues its investigation, the officer who opened fire has been put on paid administrative leave.

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