Jesse Klemz and Sheriff David Reynolds
Officers Awarded "Medal Of Honor"
On March 5th, 2005 members of the Porter County
Sheriff's Department SWAT team and the Valparaiso
Police were involved in an armed standoff with a
homicidal/suicidal subject at a residence in Porter
During the course of the incident, members of the
Department unsuccessfully attempted to communicate
with the subject. After communication attempts
failed, officers deployed chemical agent into the
residence in an attempt to subdue the person without
further injury. After the chemical agent was
deployed, the the suspect began shooting a rifle
from within the residence towards the officers.
After shooting numerous rifle rounds towards the
SWAT officers, the suspect James Szotek, excited the
residence and began verbally threatening nearby
officers. Mr. Szotek then pointed the firearm
toward Officer Jesse Klemz and Sgt. Sean Kostelnik.
Officer Klemz, at great risk of injury to himself,
then attempted to subdue Mr. Szotek by discharging a
less lethal 40 mm foam baton. After the foam
baton was unsuccessful subduing the suspect, Mr.
Szotek continued to level his rifle toward Officer
Klemz and Sgt. Kostelnik. Both officers discharged
their firearms, incapacitating Mr. Szotek,
preventing injury to themselves and other officers.
The substantial risk of personal safety and the
amount of valor displayed by Officer's Klezz and
Sgt. Sean Kostelnik cannot be overstated during this
Kostelnik and Sheriff David Reynolds