Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 5 years
Badge # 55-22
Incident Date: 6/14/2001
Weapon: Handgun; .45 caliber
Offender: Death sentence overturned
Sergeant Daniel Starnes succumbed to gunshot wounds suffered one month earlier when he was involved in a shootout during a traffic stop.
Sergeant Starnes, who was the agency's warrant officer, had stopped a suspect who had an outstanding warrant at Shelton Road and Wilbur Road. While Sergeant Starnes and the driver were outside of their vehicles, shots were exchanged and Sergeant Starnes was struck in the chest four times by the suspect's .45-caliber handgun. Sergeant Starnes was not wearing a bullet-resistant vest at the time.
The suspect then turned and fired into the patrol car, striking Sergeant Starnes' son, who was participating in a ride along for a college project. Sergeant Starnes was able to return fire, striking the suspect seven times, wounding him. The son was then able to retrieve the service shotgun from the trunk of the patrol car and he held the suspect at gunpoint until other units arrived. The incident happened only 15 minutes after Sergeant Starnes reported for duty and was within eyesight of his home. Sergeant Starnes died from his wounds one month later due to complications from an infection at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
The subject arrested, convicted of murder, and subsequently sentenced to death. On June 2nd, 2015, a federal appeals court overturned the death sentence because the subject claimed to be mentally ill.
Sergeant Starnes had served with the Morgan County Sheriff's Department for five years. He was survived by his wife and two sons, both of whom serve with the Indiana State Police as troopers, having graduated from the 59th and 65th ISP Recruit Academies.