Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 29 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 8/11/1981
Weapon: Handgun; .44 caliber
Suspect: Sentenced to 74 years
Lieutenant George Yaros was shot and killed responding to a bank robbery at the Gary National Bank at 3680 Broadway while on duty.
When Lieutenant Yaros arrived on the scene, he was shot by one of the three robbery suspects. As the suspects fled to their getaway car, the same suspect shot Lieutenant Yaros at close range. A high-speed pursuit and shootout by police resulted in the suspect's car crashing into a tree. The shooter fled on foot and with the aid of bystanders was discovered walking nearby before being apprehended.
All three suspects were charged and convicted of murder, but the jury recommended death only for the shooter with the other two suspects being sentenced to 60 years in prison. One of those offenders was discharged in February 2011 while the other was denied parole on January 22, 2008.
In 1993, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, but overturned the shooter's death sentence. Following a new jury's recommendation, he was again sentenced to death in 1996, but the Indiana Supreme Court overturned this death sentence in 2002. On October 17, 2008, the offender was resentenced to serve a 60-year term for murder and a 14-year term for robbery under a plea agreement.
Lieutenant Yaros had served with the Gary Police Department for 29 years and was due to retire in six months to accept a job at the bank where he was killed. He served in World War II as a paratrooper for the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army and was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge. He was captured by the Germans and taken to a prisoner-of-war camp, only to escape.
Lieutenant Yaros was survived by his wife, son, two daughters and two grandchildren.