Neighbors confused, heartbroken after a man ambushes Douglas County officers

The Douglas County community is mourning the loss of a sheriff's deputy who was killed in the line of duty Sunday mor...

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 12:49 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2018 12:49 PM

The Douglas County community is mourning the loss of a sheriff's deputy who was killed in the line of duty Sunday morning. Four others were injured along with two civilians.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the officers were responding to calls of a domestic dispute when the suspect opened fire.

Steven Silknitter, who lives in the apartment complex, received a call from his son a short time later saying an active shooter was in the area. Silknitter, who works overnight as a truck driver while he pursues a secondary degree, immediately thought of his fiancé, who was still at home.

"I was just trying to make sure she was OK. This is the last thing I would've ever thought of my complex," Silknitter said.

He called and called but couldn't get ahold of her. That's when panic set in.

"I was deathly afraid I was going to go home, and she would be gone," he said. "It's one of those rare treats I think I found of her, and the thought of losing her is I just don't even want to go there."

So Silknitter raced home to try to get to his fiancé, but he couldn't get in because the entire area had been blocked off. So, he parked as close to the building as he could, parked and got out. That's when he heard the gunshots.

"It was like pop, pop, then pop, pop, pop, pop and then return fire and you right away you knew it was gunfire," Silknitter said.

That's when the questions started coming.

"Is it at my building? Are there bullets going through the wall? I mean just everything you can think of is going to your mind," Silknitter said.

Silknitter watched as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances flew by with lights and sirens blaring.

"That's when I noticed what officers in the back of the car racing to the hospital. Going as fast as they were, it was clear that there was something bad that happened," he said.

Finally, he was able to get in touch with his fiancé Vira Cover. She had been asleep.

"I couldn't believe it," Cover said. "I went out onto our patio, and the neighbors across over there thought there might be fireworks, and I said 'No, it's an active shooter. We should probably all get back inside.'

Cover listened to rounds of gunshots being fired.

"I was scared, yeah. I mean that gunfire was so close," Cover said. "I just couldn't believe it. I was in shock."

Not far away, Troy Broadhead was heading home on County Line Road when he hit a roadblock. He tried two different routes but couldn't get through.

"All these cop cars started coming up County Line Road, just everything, everything, and I just thought something crazy was happening," Broadhead said.

Broadhead used to live in the apartment complex next door, so he knew about a bike path that backed up to the apartments.

"Then I heard a pop it was like a rifle shot," Broadhead said. "There were cops on C-470 looking through that barrier position and everything and so they probably didn't know I was in the area. What went through my mind is, you know, I probably got to get down I've got to get out of here."

When Broadhead learned the name of the deputy who had been killed, his heart sank. He recognized Parrish.

"I used to come out of my complex, and I had a little sports car. He stopped me a couple of times, but didn't give me a ticket," Broadhead said.

Broadhead said he's only ever known Parrish to be an understanding police officer.

"What a special guy and my heart goes out to his family, just the whole community. He was really a nice guy," Broadhead said.

Cover, too, feels the pain of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

"I feel so sorry for them. I feel so bad. I just I'm sending my thoughts and my prayers and just for healing in the community because it's going to affect the whole community," Cover said.

Now Silknitter is wondering whether he should consider moving or stay in the same apartment.

"Where do you go from here? Do you stay in the complex? Where do you move to? Where do you go that you don't have to worry about someone shooting up an apartment or house," Silknitter asked. "That stuff just doesn't happen here."

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 85°
Kokomo
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Frankfort
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Delphi
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Monticello
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Logansport
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events