Indiana Trooper With Local Ties Honored

ISP Trooper George Wooten receives the Combat Action Award from Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell.

On Tuesday, Oct. 26 the Indiana State Police held an awards, and recognition ceremony in Indianapolis. The ceremony honored and recognized individuals from around the state for their dedication to service, bravery and devotion to the department, and the citizens of Indiana. There were 20 active employees of the Indiana State Police Department, eight civilians, and three Indiana State Police retirees honored at the ceremony.
Trooper George Wooten of the Jasper Post received the Department’s Combat Action Award for his role in an incident that took place in Dale on September 24, 2009. On that evening Wooten was off-duty when he responded to assist the Spencer County Sheriff’s Office with a suicidal man that had barricaded himself in his apartment. Wooten arrived on location with the Dale Town Marshal, Scott Lanman and Matt Keller from the Santa Claus Police Department.
The officers began to set up a perimeter in an attempt to make verbal contact with the barricaded male when a single gunshot was heard. Then approximately ten seconds later a second gunshot rang out. Upon the second shot, Wooten observed flying white paint fragments as the bullet impacted the left front fender of the police vehicle in which the officers were taking cover behind. Trooper Wooten directed Officers Lanman and Keller to withdraw to a safer position while still maintaining a perimeter. Trooper Wooten maintained this perimeter position while other officers evacuated nearby apartment units and attempted negotiations.
After about five hours of attempting to contact the suspect, the Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team made entry into the apartment and discovered the suspect was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was determined that both rounds were fired from the suspect’s scoped .270 caliber high-powered rifle.
Lieutenant Don Bolen, Commander of the Jasper Post said, “Trooper Wooten performed in exemplary fashion that night. He maintained his composure and professionalism after being fired upon and throughout incident.”
Wooten is the grandson of Goble and Marie Wooten of Crothersville.