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Published: Saturday, 2/21/2009

Louisville standoff ends when suspect shoots self

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOUISVILLE Negotiators tried for hours to persuade a man suspected of shooting two Indiana police officers at a motel to come out of a Louisville home, but the standoff ended when he fatally shot himself.

Police had deployed gas inside the home along a quiet residential street and discovered Robert Datillo s body around the same time Friday at 8:45 p.m. after a 10-hour standoff, police said.

It s always to our interests to have the person come out. Unfortunately this person decided to take his own life, said Louisville Metro Police spokesman Robert Biven.

Datillo, 37, of Jeffersonville, Ind., was wanted in the shootings of Jeffersonville Cpl. Dan Lawhorn and Patrolman Keith Broady, who police say were ambushed Thursday evening at a motel in southern Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville.

A SWAT team, hostage negotiators and federal agents had descended on the neighborhood of well-kept one-story brick houses around 10:30 a.m. after a vehicle believed linked to the shootings was seen, said Alicia Smiley, a Louisville police spokeswoman. Two other people in the house were able to leave after police arrived.

The ordeal began a day earlier when Lawhorn and Broady went to a Motel 6 to investigate drug activity and gunfire broke out in one of the rooms. Broady was shot in the chest in an area not protected by his bulletproof vest, and Lawhorn shot in the leg, Jeffersonville Detective Todd Hollis said. Both were in stable condition early Saturday at a hospital.

At least seven shots were fired at the officers, and Broady fired twice back, Hollis said. Drugs and two pipe bombs were later found in the motel room, and the explosives were safely detonated there, police said.

Lynn Murphy of Louisville, who said she was Datillo s sister, told reporters she had spoken to him on the telephone while he was in the house and that he was scared.

Murphy said her brother told her, I love you. I m sorry. I don t know what s going to happen.

In southern Indiana, police questioned two other men about the shootings and later released them. However, Hollis said police hadn t ruled out charging the men later.

The two acknowledged they had been in the motel room at some point, but police did not believe they were there during the shootout.



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