Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Lieutenant George Yaros was shot and killed responding to a bank robbery at the Gary National Bank while on duty.
When Lieutenant Yaros arrived on the scene, he was shot by one of the three robbery suspects. As the suspects fled to their getaway car, the same suspect shot Lieutenant Yaros at point-blank range. A high-speed pursuit and shootout by police resulted in the suspect's car crashing into a tree. The shooter fled on foot and with the aid of bystanders was discovered walking nearby before being apprehended.
All three suspects were charged and convicted of murder, but the jury recommended death only for the shooter with the other two suspects being sentenced to 60 years in prison. Those two offenders were released in 2011 and 2012.
In 1993, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, but overturned the shooter's death sentence. Following a new jury's recommendation, he was again sentenced to death in 1996, but the Indiana Supreme Court overturned this death sentence in 2002. The offender was resentenced in 2008 to serve a 60-year term for murder and a 14-year term for robbery. He was released in February 2017.
Lieutenant Yaros was due to retire in six months to accept a job at the bank where he was killed. He was survived by his wife, son, two daughters and two grandchildren.
On D-Day, he landed in Normandy as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. He was later wounded during the Battle of the Bulge and a recipient of a Purple Heart. While in a field hospital, he was captured by Nazi Germany soldiers and taken to Camp Fünfeichen (Stalag II-A), a prisoner-of-war camp located in Neubrandenburg, where he was imprisoned for over seven months.
He is the only officer killed in the line of duty in Indiana who was known to have been a prisoner of war while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.