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Sheriff's Lieutenant Shot By Suspect While Trying To Serve Warrant Over Unreturned Rental Furniture In Gary; Suspect Shot Dead

GARY, Ind. (CBS) -- A Lake County, Indiana Sheriff's officer was shot and wounded by a suspect in Gary on Thursday, and the officer returned fire and killed the suspect.

On Thursday night, CBS 2's Jermont Terry learned the man opened fire because he didn't want to return his rental furniture.

As investigators looked into the deadly shooting, we also learned that when the gunfire was exchanged between the sheriff's lieutenant and the man, the flying bullets went into the home of an elderly man who lived nearby – narrowly missing him.

Around noon, a lieutenant assigned to the Lake County Sheriff's Department Civil Division was serving a civil warrant to seize property in the 600 block of Hanley Street in Gary, according to the sheriff's office.

We are told the civil warrant was for the repossession of rental furniture.

It was unclear if the lieutenant made it to the front door, but investigators said he was met with gunfire.

The young man inside the house was wearing just underwear and a T-shirt when he fired at the officer, a source told CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot.

"He didn't want to return his furniture, whatever, from Rent-A-Center," said Ben Hayes.

The officer was struck by a bullet, and returned fire and hit the man as he came running out of the house.

"He collapsed in the alley," Hayes said.

That alley also just so happened to be behind Hayes' 85-year-old father's house. The elderly man's screen door was left shattered.

"I'm very upset about it," Hayes said.

Hayes' father has lived on 6th Avenue and Hanley Street in Gary for years. But when the shootout happened, he called his son in a panic.

"He called me and was talking to me like he's out of breath," Hayes said. "I'm like, 'So what's up?' I could hear it in his voice. He said that his house had just been shot up. I'm like, 'Wait a minute, for real? What's happening?'"

Hayes rushed to the block to find police from several agencies everywhere. Yet he could not go check on his dad, who had quite the scare while in his living room.

"My father was sitting there watching TV. A bullet comes through the house," Hayes said. "You know, come on."

Meanwhile, both the lieutenant and the suspect were taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary, the sheriff's office said. The lieutenant was conscious and talking when medics arrived and has non-life-threatening injuries.

Indiana State Police said the suspect, who was in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The lieutenant is 59 and has been with the Lake County, Indiana Sheriff's office for 30 years.

Hayes is grateful that the officer survived.

"I tip my hat to him," Hayes said, "because he's doing his job, and you've got to respect that."

The Lake County Sheriff's office has not said where the officer was hit, but we do know he should make a full recovery.

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