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Officer Luke Brown

Cloverdale Police Department, IN

On December 10, 2016, Cloverdale Police Officer Luke Brown responded to a call for assistance after a male suspect committed a battery and stole a chainsaw from a retail store in nearby Greencastle, Indiana. A deputy pursued the suspect to his residence; however, the suspect was able to slip inside before the deputy arrived. That deputy held a tactical position until Officer Brown and additional backup arrived. Officer Brown exited his police car and approached the residence with another Putnam County Deputy in order to speak with the suspect.

Unbeknownst to Officer Brown, the suspect had placed a loaded 12 gauge double barrel shotgun out of view beside the doorway. He then appeared at the threshold of the front door and Officer Brown attempted to have the suspect exit to discuss the theft. The suspect was uncooperative, so Officer Brown attempted to effect an arrest for the theft. The suspect resisted and struck Officer Brown in the face, which caused him to momentarily turn his head to remove blood from his mouth. While Officer Brown had his head turned, the suspect picked up and leveled the shotgun at Officer Brown. Officer Brown turned back toward the suspect, at which point the suspect fired one barrel into Officer Brown's chest. The muzzle of the shotgun was approximately one foot away from Officer Brown's chest; however, the ballistic vest he was wearing stopped the shot from entering his body. The shot caused considerable trauma to Officer Brown.

Officer Brown retreated backward and fired a shot from his duty weapon. The shot struck a brick wall near the doorway. The suspect then ducked to the side of the door, but reappeared and leveled the shotgun a second time. Officer Brown continued to retreat and fired a second round, which went through the wood and drywall to the right of the doorframe, striking the suspect in the abdomen. The suspect surrendered and Officer Brown tended to the suspect's gunshot wound prior to checking his own injuries.

The actions of Officer Brown demonstrated extraordinary bravery, decisiveness, and a willingness to save the lives of others, without regard to his own personal safety.