Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Detective Sergeant Phillip Hochstetler was shot and killed while interviewing a suspect about firearms stolen in a recent burglary.
Although the suspect had agreed to surrender his weapons, he pointed one at Detective Sergeant Hochstetler at the last moment, striking him in the throat and head. He then killed his 17-month son and 4-year-old daughter before fleeing the home.
Two days later, the 25-year-old suspect was recognized when he drove past the crime scene. He was pursued into downtown Warsaw and when the suspect opened fire at a gas station, Warsaw police officers returned fire and killed him.
Detective Sergeant Hochstetler was a responding officer in the line of duty death of Nappanee Sergeant Brant A. Nine on November 3, 1988 while serving with that agency.
Detective Sergeant Hochstetler had previously served with the Nappanee Police Department for two years. He was survived by his three sons and father.
One of his sons serves as an officer with the Fort Wayne Police Department while another serves as a deputy with the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department.