On November 3, 1988, Nappanee Sgt. Brant “Butch” Nine was shot and killed when he and another officer responded to a report of an individual who was passing a bad check at a jewelry store.
Sgt. Nine entered the store and attempted to arrest the suspect. When a struggle ensued, the suspect grabbed Sgt. Nine’s service weapon and shot him once in the chest. As the suspect fled and exited the store, he was confronted by the other officer where gunfire was exchanged, leaving the suspect injured. Sgt. Nine was transported to the hospital but died from his wound.
Sgt. Nine had served Nappanee for more than six years at the time of his passing.
The suspect ultimately was sentenced to 60 years for murder and 50 years for attempted murder. The individual responsible for Sgt. Nine’s death has been denied clemency several times since 2009.
Another officer with ties to the Nappanee Police Department, Phillip Hochstetler, was killed in the line of duty June 29, 1994. Phil’s memory is honored here.