ATF agent shot, critically wounded in Ind. ambush
Police said an ATF agent was shot several times during an undercover operation in which a suspect was killed
GARY, Ind. — An agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was shot several times and critically wounded during an undercover operation in Indiana in which a suspect was killed, authorities said Thursday.
The agent was hospitalized in critical but stable condition after being "shot multiple times," Brendan Iber, assistant special agent in charge of ATF's Chicago division, told reporters outside the hospital.
"Today, ATF was conducting an undercover operation in Gary, Indiana, when our agent was ambushed," Iber said.
Iber said he could not release additional information "due to the ongoing investigation."
ATF spokesman Thomas Ahern said a suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement during the operation early Thursday afternoon. He did not release further details.
Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter told The Post-Tribune that two ATF agents were conducting a controlled drug buy with four suspects. One of the male suspects, whose identity had not been released as of Thursday evening, was shot and killed, Carter said.
"It turned sour in a number of ways," Carter said. "... Then it turned into a shootout."
Two other suspects were taken into custody, and a fourth remained at large as of Thursday evening, Carter said.
The agent who was shot is assigned to the Chicago Field Division. His name was not immediately released.
Around the same time the agent was wounded and near where the shooting occurred, Lake County police were involved in a pursuit in Gary that resulted in multiple people being injured, Indiana State Police said. A car fled a traffic stop and entered an intersection at a high rate of speed, striking two other vehicles, state police said.
ATF spokesman Ronnie Dahl told The (Northwest Indiana) Times the collision was not related to the shooting.
The shooting of the agent was the second shooting of an ATF agent in a little more than a month in the Chicago area. Prosecutors have said Ernesto Godinez, 28, of Chicago shot an agent in the face on May 4 on Chicago's South Side. The agent was released from a hospital days later. Godinez has pleaded not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon.