BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- A Boone County Sheriff's deputy who was shot while assisting Lebanon police early Friday morning will not survive his injuries, according to the Boone County Sheriff.
Deputy Jacob Pickett, 34, was critically injured while assisting the Lebanon Police Department with a pursuit of a wanted individual. He is being kept alive on life support so that his organs can be donated.
The Boone County Sheriff's Office says Deputy Pickett's body will be transported to the Marion County Coroner's Office at 9 a.m. Monday morning. The exact route for that transfer has not been released.
At least one other law enforcement officer on the scene returned fire, striking one of the suspects.
"Today the thin blue line was shattered," Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said during an afternoon press conference at St. Vincent Hospital "The public safety family of Boone County is heartbroken. We have lost a K-9 officer, a deputy, a friend, a warrior and a brother. There are no words that can explain the grief that we feel today. We are family. We are grieving."
Pickett leaves behind his wife Jen and his boys, ages 3 and 4. He is a Brownsburg native and 2002 graduate of Brownsburg High School. Pickett's wife teaches in the Brownsburg school system.
Sheriff Nielsen recognized that he hired someone special three years ago. A man who split his time between being an officer and a parent.
"Jake would go above and beyond for his kids. He would stop by, which we highly encourage, on duty. Jake actually was at a school working with a Whitestown police officer and some others showing kids Brick right before this happened. So his passion for not only his kids but his passion for making sure the kids understood the K9 and what the K9 program is and what he did every single day was very high. And he took his job very seriously, " said Sheriff Nielsen.
Dep. Pickett had been employed by the Boone County Sheriff's Department since July 2015. Prior to his work with the Boone County Sheriff's Office, Pickett served as a deputy for the Tipton County Sheriff's Department from November 2013 until July of 2015. He also served as a jailer at the Marion County Jail from 2010 until 2013.
Deputy Pickett was the lead K9 handler for the Boone County Sheriff's Office and patrolled with his partner Brick for more than 2 years.
Sheriff Nielsen said he knew the moment he met Pickett that he would be a wonderful addition to his team.
"I immediately saw the passion and the drive and the fire in Jake when I hired him," said Sheriff Nielsen. "He was so excited to be a part of our team."
Sheriff Nielsen said the only other Line of Duty death that the Boone County Sheriff's Office has had was in 1935 when Sheriff Pepper was en route to an alarm call and his vehicle got into a collision and he was killed.