Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Reserve Lieutenant Jimmie Wingate was shot and killed after he and his partner responded to an armed robbery-in-progress alarm at Preston's Super Market.
Three male subjects had entered the rear of the store at closing and forced a manager to open the safe before locking him in a washroom. As the suspects had a police scanner set to another agency's frequency, they did not hear police had been dispatched.
Upon the deputies' arrival, the manager was ordered to open the front door by one of the men. As he did, the manager ran outside with the suspects running behind him. A gunbattle ensued and both deputies were struck in the abdomen.
The other deputy shot and killed a 38-year-old suspect and despite being severely wounded, Reserve Lieutenant Wingate was able to wound another suspect before he and the third suspect fled from the scene.
Both deputies were taken to General Hospital where Reserve Lieutenant Wingate died from his injuries the next day. The other deputy survived his wounds.
Several weeks later, a 47-year-old suspect was taken into custody on a disorderly conduct charge who had recent gunshot wounds. With a search warrant, a bullet fragment was surgically removed and determined to have been fired by Reserve Lieutenant Wingate's weapon.
He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. A new trial was ordered on appeal when the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the evidence was obtained illegally, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a second trial, he was again convicted in a change of venue to Allen County and sentenced to life in prison.
A 38-year-old third suspect was later acquitted by a jury on murder charges.
Reserve Lieutenant Wingate was survived by his wife.
The responsibilities of the Marion County Sheriff's Department – Law Enforcement Division (1822–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.