NORTH LIBERTY – Police say officers shot a man following a high-speed pursuit that ended when his vehicle and a police car burst into flames.
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office has identified the suspect as Kevin W. Meyers, 48, of La Porte.
St. Joseph County police joined police units from Walkerton, North Liberty and La Porte County about 4:30 a.m. Monday in pursuit of a suspicious vehicle with reported stolen plates.
Police say during the hour-long pursuit, the man driving that vehicle drove through fields and rammed police vehicles, before the pursuit ended about 5:30 a.m. in a cornfield near Leeper Road and Ind. 23 south of North Liberty.
Police say the man's vehicle and a Walkerton police car caught fire shortly before officers fired shots at the suspect's vehicle.
The man was struck by gunfire but is expected to survive, police said. Officers pulled him from the burning car and he remains hospitalized in South Bend. He was listed in stable condition.
Multiple officers were treated for smoke inhalation after the field around the burning vehicles also caught fire.
The suspect's vehicle and a Walkerton squad car were badly damaged in the fire, and a North Liberty squad car also sustained damage. All were towed from the scene.
The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit is investigating the police-involved shooting.
Court records show that Meyers has four active arrest warrants in La Porte County, three for felony auto theft and one for misdemeanor theft. Two of the warrants were filed this month and two in September 2019.
—From staff and wire reports