Sergeant
Daniel Robert Starnes
Morgan County Sheriff's Department
Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Age: 46
Served: 5 years
Badge #: 55-22
Military Service:
Panel 45E, Line 22
Panel L26, Line 11

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Thursday, June 14, 2001
12:15 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
26 days
Incident Location:
Shelton and Wilbur roads
Incident County:
Morgan
Incident Township:
Jefferson
Weapon Used:
.45-caliber handgun
Suspect Info:
Sentenced to 180 years
(currently incarcerated)
Burial Location:
Nebo Memorial Park Cemetery, Martinsville

   Sergeant Daniel Starnes died from gunshot wounds he suffered one month earlier when he was involved in a shootout during a traffic stop.

   Sergeant Starnes, who was the agency's warrant officer, had stopped a suspect who had an outstanding warrant at Shelton and Wilbur roads. While Sergeant Starnes and the suspect were outside of their vehicles, shots were exchanged and Sergeant Starnes was struck in the chest four times by the suspect's .45-caliber handgun. Sergeant Starnes was not wearing a bullet-resistant vest at the time.

   The suspect then turned and fired into the patrol car, striking Sergeant Starnes' son, who was participating in a ride along for a college project. Sergeant Starnes was able to return fire, striking the suspect seven times, wounding him. The son was then able to retrieve the service shotgun from the trunk of the patrol car and he held the suspect at gunpoint until other units arrived. The incident happened only 15 minutes after Sergeant Starnes reported for duty and was within eyesight of his home. Sergeant Starnes died from his wounds one month later due to complications from an infection at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

   The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned his sentence due to him being intellectually disabled and ineligible for the death penalty. On May 2, 2016, the offender was resentenced to 65 years in prison for murder to be served consecutively with the 115 years he had already been sentenced to for attempted murder and other felonies. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his resentencing on May 16, 2017.

   Sergeant Starnes was survived by his wife and two sons, both of whom serve with the Indiana State Police as troopers, having graduated from the 59th and 65th ISP Recruit Academies.