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Wabash man killed in police shoot-out: Huntington officer wounded in Sunday morning incident

Indiana State Police are investigating an officer involved shooting that left a Wabash man dead and a Huntington Police officer injured in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 13.

ISP officials on Monday afternoon identified the man as Matthew T. Melzoni, 36, Wabash.

The officer, who as of press time has not been identified, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

According to a press release from the Indiana State Police:

At approximately 3:35 a.m. Dec. 13, Huntington Police Department responded to a disturbance call in the 100 block of Shultz Drive on the city’s southwest side. 

Upon arrival, officers allegedly encountered an adult male suspect operating a backhoe style piece of machinery, actively destroying property around the neighborhood. 

Officers from Huntington Police Department and the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department became engaged in a lengthy pursuit of the suspect around the neighborhood, to include the area of the Horace Mann Elementary and Riverside Middle School campus, where he continued causing damage to private and public property.

During the course of this pursuit an exchange of gunfire took place, resulting in the death of the adult male suspect and the injury to the police officer. 

The Huntington police officer was transported by ambulance to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, where he was last listed in serious but stable condition.

The suspect, who also has not yet been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene by Huntington County Coroner Philip Zahm.

There were no other officers nor bystanders injured during the course of this shooting incident.

Indiana State Police investigators will not be releasing the identities of the officers involved in this incident until the Huntington County Prosecutor has reviewed the completed case investigation and subsequently authorizes the release of that information.

An autopsy on Melzoni has been completed. Toxicology results related to the autopsy are pending and were not available at deadline.

This is an active and ongoing criminal investigation by the Indiana State Police. Once the criminal investigation is complete, the investigation will be turned over to the Huntington County Prosecutor for review and determination of charges, if any, to be filed.

Posted on 2020 Dec 15