INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion County Sheriff’s deputy has died after being attacked by a prisoner who stole a jail van and attempted to escape Marion County Jail but wound up crashing into a telephone pole.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, shortly before 11:30 a.m. an inmate being returned from a hospital visit attacked a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy inside the detention center’s sally port and was able to gain control of the sheriff’s van.
After stealing the jail van, the suspect fled out of the Criminal Justice Center complex but crashed in the 3000 block of Prospect Street.
Deputies were able to take the suspect back into custody following the crash. At least one deputy received minor injuries while apprehending the suspect and was treated on scene, IMPD said.
IMPD said the suspect and Deputy John Durm were transported to a nearby hospital.
The suspect was said to be in stable condition after suffering minor injuries. Durm was declared deceased at the hospital.
IMPD said the incident was “an intentional act of homicide” and will be investigated as such.
Deputy Durm, 61, has been with the sheriff’s department for nearly 40 years, according to Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal.
Durm came from a law enforcement family and his wife and son work for the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
“John is just a good guy,” said Forestal. “Thirty-eight years – you can’t give that much law enforcement to you community and not mean something.”
Durm is survived by his wife, four children, his parents and several other family members.
IMPD said the Criminal Justice Center is secure and there is no additional threat to the public.
The suspect in the escape was identified as 34-year-old Orlando Mitchell. IMPD said Mitchell will be placed under arrest for murder once he is released from the hospital.
Mitchell was already in jail on a murder charge after being arrested for shooting his son’s mother outside of a daycare in 2022.
Prospect Street between Sherman and Keystone was shut down for several hours while police investigated the crash.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett posted a statement after the announcement of the deputy’s death stating, “Today our city grieves the tragic loss of Marion County Deputy John Durm. We will be forever grateful for his service to the Indianapolis community.”
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb also released a statement after Monday’s incident, saying:
“It pains me to attempt putting into words again the unfathomable loss of a man in uniform who was protecting Hoosiers from harm’s way. Marion County sheriff’s deputy John Durm made the ultimate sacrifice, and we owe him our utmost gratitude. Janet and I are praying for his family, loved ones and for the law enforcement community.”
Rep. Andre Carson also responded to the tragedy by stating, “I’m deeply saddened to hear of this tragic incident, and I pray for Deputy John Durm, his family, and the entire Sheriff’s office during this difficult time.”
U.S. Senator Mike Braun responded to the incident via Twitter, stating that it had been a “tragic two weeks for Indiana law enforcement.” Braun asked for the community to keep Durm’s family in their prayers “as they face a loss that too many police families have had to bear.”