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Two Police Officers Killed When Suspect’s Car Strikes Cruiser

March 25, 1993

NORTH VERNON, Ind. (AP) _ A man free on bond following an armed standoff with police last week slammed his vehicle into a patrol car early Wednesday, killing two officers inside.

Patrolman Anthony Burton, 29, and Reserve Officer Lonnie E. Howard, 22, died of massive internal injuries, the coroner’s offfice said.

The motorist, Jonathon Warnell, 30, of North Vernon, was in critical condition at a Louisville, Ky., hospital.

Investigators said the officers were parked at a church along Indiana 3, watching for Warnell, who was suspected of threatening someone with a knife in a domestic dispute Tuesday evening.

Warnell’s southbound car crossed the center line and slammed into the passenger side of the patrol car.

Last Thursday, Warnell drove his car into a building where his girlfriend worked and fired a rifle into the air, police said.

Warnell kept police at bay by threatening suicide before he was persuaded by relatives to give himself up, authorities said.

He was arrested on recklessness and trespassing charges and released Monday on $2,500 cash bond.

Police Chief Pete Gerth, whose remaining nine officers wore black bandages on their badges Wednesday afternoon, said the deaths had shaken the southern Indiana community of about 5,300 residents some 80 miles south of Indianapolis.

″It’s devastating,″ Gerth said. ″Everybody is in shock.″

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