PORTAGE — William D. Spates had been out of jail for just over three hours when he was killed in an officer-involved shooting Saturday morning.

Spates, of the 2700 block of Brown Street, was arrested Tuesday, April 19, and accused of battering his wife and two children.

Spates, who has a long history of arrests in both Lake and Porter counties according to court records, was charged with felony counts of strangulation and domestic battery and two misdemeanor counts of battery. He was transported to a local hospital for breathing problems and then transported to Porter County Jail.

Porter County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Sgt. Jamie Erow said Spates was released from jail on bond at 10:29 p.m. Friday. A 10-day no-contact order had been issued when he was arrested. His home is just around the corner from where the shooting occurred.

Additional details of the shooting were released by the Porter County Sheriff's Office Monday that indicated Spates attempted to run over Portage police Officer Grant Crizer during a traffic stop in the driveway of a home in the 5200 block of Royal Avenue.

Crizer made a traffic stop on a blue 2004 Jeep Liberty at approximately 1:47 a.m. Saturday. Spates pulled into the driveway on Royal Avenue. At some point the suspect put his vehicle into reverse and accelerated rapidly into the officer’s fully-marked squad car, striking it, police said. Witnesses initially reported hearing the officer yelling commands to the driver, and an engine revving, followed by six to seven shots fired, according to a news release from Erow.

Erow said she could not specifically answer as to whether or not all the shots were fired by Crizer or if Spates had a weapon. She said that is still under investigation.

"However, I can relay that evidence at the scene and witness statements show a Taser was deployed prior to shots being fired," she said.

According to the Porter County Central Communications incident history for the event, Crizer reported shots fired and that he needed another unit. He told dispatch that his vehicle was struck and the subject tried to run him over. He requested EMS step up their response. Another officer arrived on scene, helping to pull Spates from the vehicle and immediately began rendering aid with his tactical first aid kit. Portage EMS arrived on scene and pronounced Spates dead.

Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said Crizer, 34, has been put on paid administrative leave.

Crizer was hired by the Portage Police Department on Aug. 17, 2014. He had previously served on the Lake Station Police Department since January 2008.

"Officer Crizer has had no disciplinary incidents with the Portage Police Department. He has received one chief’s letter of commendation and was selected to serve on the department’s SWAT Team," said Williams in a news release.  

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said in the release Monday that an autopsy was performed on Spates, 39, over the weekend. The results revealed that Spates received multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and head, leading to his death.

Harris said toxicology results are pending.

Erow said detectives and crime scene investigators with her department and the Indiana State Police worked throughout the weekend and are still investigating.           

Subcribe to the Times

Reporting like this is brought to you by a staff of experienced local journalists committed to telling the stories of your community.
Support from subscribers is vital to continue our mission.

Become a subscriber

Thank you for being a loyal subsciber

Your contribution makes our mission possible.

 
23
11
8
7
53

Porter County reporter

Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She is the municipal and education reporter for Porter County. She is an amateur genealogist and writes a blog, Remember your Roots, appearing online each Thursday.