Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Officer Clinton Osthimer was shot and killed after making a traffic stop.
The subject had been stopped for speeding and drunken driving after a short pursuit. He was arrested and placed in the back seat of the squad car with Officer Osthimer.
En route to the jail, the man produced a revolver and shot Officer Osthimer in the throat severing his jugular vein. When he attempted to shoot the other officer his gun jammed.
As the other officer knocked the gun from the suspect's hand, the squad car crashed onto the courthouse lawn. The man fled on foot but was recaptured a few blocks away.
Officer Osthimer was being taken to Wabash County Hospital when he died en route.
The officers were unaware the 28-year-old ex-convict was driving a stolen vehicle, wanted for larceny and absent without leave from the military. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
In May 1968, he escaped from the Summit Prison Farm in La Porte but was found living under an assumed name 10 years later when he was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia.
After Indiana Governor Otis R. Bowen withdrew extradition in May 1979, the offender died of natural causes a free man six weeks later in Decatur, Georgia.
Officer Osthimer was survived by his wife, 8-year-old son, parents, two brothers and sister.