A La Porte County Sheriff’s deputy was nearly shot after intervening in a fight outside of a residence, according to police. 

During the afternoon of Nov. 17, Sergeant Jon Burger was off-duty and located near a residence along Dogwood Drive in rural Center Township. He heard loud music coming from the area of the residence, observed the occupants of a passenger vehicle exit and saw a subject emerge from the home. Soon after, two males began to physically fight in the lawn of the residence.

Sergeant Burger proceeded to the residence and identified himself as a Sheriff’s Deputy. By then, several more subjects had begun to physically fight with each other. Police say some of the subjects “disengaged” and moved towards the area of the vehicle. One of the subjects, later identified as 20-year-old Javier J. Santillan ran inside the residence. Moments later, Santillan emerged holding a handgun. Santillan fired one round from the handgun. At the time the shot was fired, Sergeant Burger was standing near the passenger side of the vehicle and could see Santillan through the rear window discharge the firearm. The vehicle then fled from the scene.

Deputy Shayne Landry arrived and began to investigate. Shortly after, Deputy Landry took Santillan into custody and later transported him to the La Porte County Jail (LCJ). A Beretta, .40 caliber handgun was recovered from the residence.

Deputy Ryan Elcock located a vehicle matching the description that had fled in the area of Johnson Road and CR 400 North. He initiated a traffic stop and observed a jagged hole, consistent with that of a gunshot, on the driver’s side of the vehicle. A passenger located inside the vehicle, 22 year-old Brian Strong, was found to be a wanted person by La Porte City Police Department for three counts of Operating While Intoxicated. Strong was taken into custody and transported to the LCJ. The vehicle was impounded for the purpose of evidence processing.

Santillan was arrested for Criminal Recklessness, remains housed in the LCJ and is being held without bond. Strong was released from the LCJ later that day after a bond was posted on his behalf.