Porter County Sheriff's Department

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Medal of Honor Awarded

Officer 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 County.

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 high-risk incident.



Sgt. Sean Kostelnik and Sheriff David Reynolds

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