Suspects Who Shot an Officer Early Thursday Morning ID'd

By Peter Ambrose
By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell

December 16, 2011 Updated Dec 16, 2011 at 11:02 AM EST

WATERLOO, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Ralph Hardiek and Julie King were struck multiple times by a series of shots fired by police officers as the man and woman were confronted in the backyard of a home on the 200 block of South Center Street in Waterloo.

41-year-old Ralph Hardiek died at the scene in a barrage of bullets.
Hardiek had an arrest record in Noble County for meth.

King, 33, remains in critical condition at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.

Officer Stephen Brady was shot in an earlier confrontation, we’re told the bullet went through the left eye socket and exited near his right ear.

We are led to believe he'll survive the ordeal.

It all started before 3 a.m. at a home north of Waterloo, where the two suspects came asking for help with a vehicle they claimed was stuck in a ditch.

Two Waterloo officers were dispatched to find the two and their disabled vehicle. Officer Brady encountered the pair back in town just after three a.m., where he took a bullet to the face.

A manhunt that followed wound up in the neighborhood where we're at, a homeowner alerting authorities to the fact people were hiding on her property.

Sgt. Ron Galaviz from the Indiana State Police says the pair was "Hunkered down underneath a deck, failing to obey officers' commands. A taser device was deployed and shortly thereafter, the male was said to have displayed a handgun, pointing it at officers, thus putting their safety and their lives in jeopardy.”

At this time no one knows why the pair shot Officer Brady. It goes from a report of two people wanting help with a disabled car, to a police officer shot in the face.

Sgt. Galaviz says he doesn't have an answer as to motive.

Indiana’s NewsCenter spoke with some witnesses to the gun fight that took place on the 200 block of South Center Street.

We spoke to a neighbor, a man who witnessed the shooting. We also caught up with woman who used to live in the house where the male suspect was shot and killed.

Both tell us that the town is in shock they say it's a town that sticks by its officers.

A.J. Kelton one of the witnesses says, "Looked outside and saw the state troopers lined from here all around. They blocked off the street, looked out and saw one Indiana State Trooper armed with an assault rifle, which makes my morning interesting."

From there, Kelton says a gun fight ensued.

"What to me I could only describe as basically a gun battle. A couple of shots returned by several more."

That gun battle was also heard by Tammy Beechler.

She knows the house well. She used to live here and even built the deck the two suspects hid under. The deck where gun battle took place.

"There's no way that they could have got all the way into that,” says Beechler, “because the kids would lose toys and stuff down in there. There was no way, so they had to be on the outside."

Witnesses say it was a sad day for the town of Waterloo. A town that is close-knit and knows its police officers.

"Go in there and have coffee with them in the morning at the gas station. We're pretty well small town and we all stick together and we're in with our cops. So it's a pretty sad day for it."

"I honestly don't want to hear that one of my one of the officers in my town had been hurt in any kind of injury like that. Especially one that comes about it a way that you're not expecting."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Police have released the names of the two suspect who shot a Waterloo Police Officer in the face early Thursday morning.

Ralph Daniel Hardiek, 41, of Auburn died at the scene after emerging from a hiding spot underneath a porch with a gun. Officers responded by discharging an unknown number of rounds.

And Julie King, 33, also from Auburn was shot and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The police officer that was originally shot has been identified as 47-year-old Deputy-Marshal Stephen Brady.

Brady is listed in serious but stable condition.

He's married to Waterloo Police Sergeant Janet Brady.
----

Everything started shortly before 3 AM when officials say a man, Hardiek, and a woman knocked on a door on County Road 35 to get help with a wrecked car.

Two Waterloo officers were then called out to find the people. Shortly after 3 AM one of the officers apparently encountered the two people and was shot in the face. They were found by another officer in a squad car. The wounded 13-year veteran, Brady, was then hospitalized in serious condition.

The shooting prompted a massive manhunt in Waterloo. Police had scant information on the suspects' description, except that they were a man and a woman wearing dark colored clothing.

Then right around 6 AM, a home owner called police stating that someone may be hiding underneath their porch. When police arrived they ordered the suspects out and when they refused police shot tasers at the suspects.

When the male suspect emerged from hiding holding a gun, officers responded by discharging their weapons. The gunfire was heard during a live interview Indiana's NewsCenter was having with State Police Sergeant Ron Galaviz at the time.

INC Video-journalist Aaron Dohring says the second shooting came from a house on Center Street, about two blocks from the initial shooting.

Details of what happened there have not yet been released.




What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "QUESTION OF THE DAY” comment.

Want to be in the know for the next weather event, the next school closing or the next big breaking news story?

TextCaster alerts from 21Alive.com are your defining source for instant information delivered right to your cell phone and email. It's free, easy and instant. Sign-Up Now!

Powered by Summit City Chevrolet



© Copyright 2014, A Granite Broadcasting Station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.