LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lafayette man was sentenced Friday for attempted murder related to a police call last year. Loren Gary was sentenced to 32 years in prison and three years of probation for attempted murder, attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon, two counts of intimidation, pointing a firearm and criminal recklessness.
Gary was found guilty of attempting to kill Deputy Lieutenant Travis Dowell in July.
In Dowell's dash cam video, jurors saw Gary positioned behind a car in the driveway. Lt. Dowell was parked in the courtyard standing outside his truck. In the video, jurors saw Gary fire his gun toward Dowell, and ballistic evidence showed it hit Dowell's front license plate.
"For 43 seconds after that first round was fired at him, the defendant continued to point a weapon at Lt. Dowell," said Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington. "He did not return fire."
Harrington believes Gary would have kept firing at Dowell, but his gun stopped working. Evidence showed the gun was jammed. But Gary's sister isn't so sure he even knew it was an officer. She thinks he meant to shoot at her car.
"He didn't say he was going to murder anybody. I don't think that was his intent," said Tammara Beard.
Tippecanoe Circuit Court Judge Sean Persin recognized Gary's mental health as a mitigator but didn't allow it to excuse Gary's actions. Attempting to kill a deputy is a serious crime. One Harrington hasn't seen in his 12 years as Prosecutor.
"There are people in our community that face an every day struggle with mental health and they don't grab a weapon and threaten a family member, remember, there are two victims here," said Harrington.
But only one of the victims testified during sentencing. Lt. Travis Dowell said this experience had him thinking about retirement.
"He could have lost his life that night and today on the stand you saw those raw emotions," said Harrington.
"I don't think that my brother should get off scot-free," said Beard. "He made choices, choices that you and I wouldn't have made but we don't have mental illness."
She thinks if anything good comes out of this, it would be treatment for her brother.
"And we need to make it harder for people to get guns we need more background checks. He should never have been able to obtain a gun," said Beard.