Police Say Woman Fatally Shot Herself While Waiting in Police Cruiser Following Auto Accident


GAS CITY, INDIANA – Authorities are investigating the shooting death of a 32-year-old woman who died from a gunshot wound while seated in a police cruiser during a traffic accident investigation.  Indiana State Police say that the incident occurred early Saturday morning north of Muncie.

Police responded to a car that struck a utility pole near 4598 South Grant County Road 600 East around 8:15 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a 2007 Chevrolet Impala with a passenger, Amanda Elbert of Alexandria, Indiana, inside. The driver fled the scene before police arrived. Elbert told officers that she was not injured and an Upland Police officer offered to let her sit in the front passenger seat of a cruiser to get out of the frigid weather.

As officers examined the crashed vehicle, they heard a single gunshot. Medics has already left the scene, but were summoned back, and Elbert was pronounced dead at the scene.  Elbert was not under arrest and it is believed that the handgun she used was in her purse. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has requested that the Indiana State Police investigate the shooting.

While there are obviously several unknowns here, it serves as a reminder to all law enforcement officers that they can never let their guard down.  The fact that the driver fled the scene for some unknown reason and the passenger’s refusal to be examined for injuries may have been indications that something was suspicious.

Allowing a civilian, regardless of the circumstances, to have unsupervised access to the operator’s compartment of a police vehicle is never a good idea. While a nice gesture, it could have proven fatal for the officer.  Did they make any attempt to determine her mental state or if she had a criminal or mental health history? Did they ask if she had any weapons on or about her person? What if, instead of using the gun to shoot herself, she decided to use it against the very people who were there to assist her? There is no routine call.

About the Author

Edgar Lee is a contributor for Concealed Nation. After spending 20 years in the fire service, he is currently in his second career as a business and technology manager, and he and his wife are successful small business owners.

Outside of work his interests include camping, hiking, fishing, metal detecting, home improvement projects and motorcycling. He also enjoys reading biographies and auto biographies, military history, and writing about modern-day personal safety and security. He has visited much of the continental US, but still considers his home state of North Carolina as his favorite.

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