Suspect In Gary Murder Shoots At Police During Pursuit

At the request of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Fowler Police Department, the Indiana State Police are investigating a pursuit that resulted in shots fired from the suspect vehicle, according to Sgt. Glen Fifield.


A preliminary investigation by detectives from the Lafayette Post revealed that on February 12, 2023, just after 5:00 p.m., an officer with the Fowler Police Department was patrolling US 52 near 5th Street. The Officer attempted to stop a 1996 Chrysler Concorde for a traffic violation. It was later discovered the Chrysler was being driven by Kevin Varner, 51, from Hammond. When the Officer attempted to stop the Chrysler, it failed to stop and fled east on US 52.

The Fowler Police Officer continued to pursue the Chrysler east on US 52 to County Road 300 East. At the Intersection of County Road 300 East, the Chrysler ran off the north side of the road for an unknown reason. Varner fled on foot from the vehicle but was located and safely taken into custody.

Further investigation revealed that shot(s) were fired from the suspect vehicle, causing the back window of it to be broken out during the pursuit. During a subsequent search, officers on the scene located a rifle in the area where the vehicle was being pursued.

Varner sustained minor injuries in the crash and was transported to a Lafayette area hospital for treatment. Upon release from the hospital, Varner was taken into custody and transported to Benton County jail.

After further investigation, officers determined that Varner was a suspect in a murder that occurred in Gary, Indiana, earlier that day. On February 13, 2023, a warrant was issued for his arrest, and he is currently awaiting extradition to Lake County.

Arrested and preliminary charges:

Kevin Varner, 51, from Hammond
Attempted Murder – Level 1 Felony
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon – Level 4 Felony
Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm – Level 6 Felony
Resisting Law Enforcement – Level 6 Felony
Charges listed on the warrant out of Lake County:

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon – Level 4 Felony
Detectives from the Lafayette Post were assisted on the scene by troopers from the Lafayette Post, Indiana State Police CSI, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Fowler Police Department, Benton County EMS, and Benton County EMA.

This continues to be an active and ongoing investigation by Indiana State Police Detectives. There is no further information to release at this time.

No officers were injured during the incident.

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