Court docs: Cloverdale officer’s shooting stemmed from chainsaw theft

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Officer Luke Brown

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ind.– Police have issued an arrest warrant for the man accused of shooting Cloverdale police officer Luke Brown on Saturday.

Jeffrey P. Hunter, 48, faces charges of attempted murder, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, battery and theft. Hunter is currently at an Indianapolis hospital recovering from his injuries.

The shooting occurred after 4 p.m. Saturday in the 4400 block of East County Road 375 near Greencastle. Officer Luke Brown, 27, suffered minor injuries in the shooting.

According to court documents, Hunter tried to steal a chainsaw worth $369.99 from a Tractor Supply store. Hunter tried to pay for the chainsaw, but his credit card was denied. That’s when he grabbed the item off the counter, threw a piece of paper at the cashier and told her to call the bank because he was taking the chainsaw.

The cashier grabbed the handle of the chainsaw and two customers tried to hold him down. He was able to escape and exited with the chainsaw. Along the way, he dropped his wallet.

Officers followed Hunter’s pickup truck, which eventually parked behind a residence. Officers could hear a loud argument inside the residence.

Officers approached the house and Hunter appeared at the glass storm door. He was uncooperative but stood at the door with his hands extended.

A struggle ensued as Brown attempted to put him into custody. A deputy was about to hit Hunter with a Taser when he reached for a shotgun near the doorway. The deputy said Brown was about a foot away from the barrel of the shotgun when it went off. Brown fired back twice, striking Hunter.

Brown was wearing a ballistic vest at the time that saved his life, officials said. Hunter’s injuries were non-life threatening.

After the exchange of gunfire and while wounded, Brown performed medical treatment on Hunter until arrival of Putnam County Operation Life paramedics.

Police expect to arrest him after he is released from the hospital.