CROMWELL, Ind. - One man is dead and two others were seriously injured Monday following a shooting near Enchanted Hills Mobile Home Park in Cromwell.
The deceased man was identified as Gary W. Helman, 56, of Cromwell.
According to the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department, preliminary investigations have determined that three individuals, purportedly bounty hunters, entered onto the property on the 9000 block of East Doswell Drive shortly before 7 p.m.
Those individuals have been identified as Daniel Foster, 43, LaPorte, Michael C. Thomas, 36, Osceola, and Tad Martin, Osceola.
The bounty hunters were attempting to serve an active felony warrant on Helman for “failure to appear” issued from Kosciusko County.
Helman’s original warrants had stemmed from felony charges of resisting law enforcement and battery resulting in bodily injury.
Kosciusko County Sheriff Rocky Goshert told the Warsaw Times-Union that he put off serving a warrant to Helman because of Helman's history of violence.
The three individuals had reportedly made visual identification of Helman as he stood on the back-deck of the residence.
The bounty hunters engaged Helman, and a subsequent gun battle erupted with multiple rounds being fired inside and outside the residence.
Seriously struck during the exchange of gunfire was Martin, along with Helman’s twin brother, Larry D. Helman.
Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived at the scene and located both Martin and Larry Helman on the rear portion of the residence, suffering from individual gunshot wounds.
Deputies entered into the residence and then located Gary Helman in a rear bedroom, also suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Syracuse/Turkey Creek E.M.S. medics arrived on scene and initiated immediate treatment to Martin and Larry Helman. Both men were transported separately to Parkview Regional Medical Center and Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne, in very serious condition.
Kosciusko County Coroner Michael Wilson was summoned to the scene and pronounced Gary Helman dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.
“The other two remaining bounty hunter individuals from last night were brought in and have been interviewed extensively by our detectives,” said Sgt. Chad Hill of the Kosciusko Co. Sheriff’s Dept. in an interview Tuesday. The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed at this point.
In 2009, Gary Helman was involved in a nine-hour stand-off with Indiana State Police at the same residence. When police attempted to serve three outstanding warrants, Helman charged them and was shot in the calf and hip.
Hill said Helman also had a lengthy record with county law enforcement.
“We've had many different instances out there as well as serving court papers, court proceedings, restraining orders,” Sgt. Hill said.
A fellow fugitive recovery agent, Patrick Salerno, spoke to NewsCenter16 about his experiences working with two of the bounty hunters -- Foster and Martin -- in the field.
“These guys are professional enough to identify themselves right away,” Salerno said. “They would only have taken these steps if their lives were in danger.”
Salerno said the outcome was a “worst nightmare scenario” in a bounty hunter’s career.
“Not only is it beyond typical, but for it to happen so fast like that to see someone on a back porch and then to have a twin involved it really complicates things,” he said.