1 dead, 2 wounded after shooting near Lake Wawasee

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. - Three men involved in a fatal gunfight in northern Indiana were apparently bounty hunters, police said.

Kosciusko County sheriff's Sgt. Chad Hill said Tuesday that the three men were trying to capture Gary W. Helman, 56, at his home near Lake Wawasee. That's when a gun battle erupted, fatally injuring Helman.

Police responding to a report of gunshots found Helman dead in a rear bedroom of the home. Officers found Helman's twin brother, Larry D. Helman, and one of the bounty hunters, Tad Martin of Osceola, seriously wounded at the rear of the home. Both wounded men were taken to Fort Wayne hospitals. A coroner pronounced Gary Helman dead at the scene.

Hill identified the other two bounty hunters as Daniel Foster, 43, of LaPorte; and Michael C. Thomas, 36, of Osceola. Hill said the men were carrying credentials identifying them as bounty hunters.

Helman was originally wanted on felony charges of resisting law enforcement and battery resulting in bodily injury.

Monday's shooting was also the location of a nine-hour police standoff in April 2009.

Police said at the time that Gary Helman barricaded himself with his mother in his home about 35 miles southeast of South Bend when officers arrived to serve three misdemeanor warrants. Negotiators attempted to talk with Helman, but he was shot in the hip and leg when he pulled a handgun from his waistband as he attempted to flee.

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