Elkhart honors police who stopped shootings

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The city of Elkhart Sunday honored two police officers and a dispatcher for their roles in ending a January supermarket attack by a gunman who killed two people.

Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore gave plaques to Officers Cody Skipper and Jason Tripp and dispatcher Justin Yoder. Tripp and Skipper were the first officers on the scene of the shootings and confronted 22-year-old Shawn Bair as he threatened to shoot a store manager.

Sen. Joe Donnelly said all three of them helped to prevent other lives from being lost.

"Justin, Jason and Cody - at the most difficult time at the most dangerous time, they stood up to defend all of us," Sen. Donnelly said Sunday. "Our hearts break for Krystal and Rochelle, but we are all better and safer and better persons for having you in our community. God bless you, and God bless the state of Indiana. Thank you."

A coroner was unable to determine whether Bair died from a gunshot to his heart by police or a self-inflicted head wound because they occurred nearly simultaneously.

Moore said the plaques are from the people of Elkhart, saying the three deserve to be recognized for their service. The General Assembly previously honored Skipper and Tripp.

Sunday's ceremony came before a performance of "Les Miserables" at the theater. It brought the audience to their feet in applause even before the show began.
The Associated Press contributed to portions of this report.