12/16/11 The Indiana State Police, along with numerous law enforcement agencies in and around DeKalb County have concluded their search for two people that are alleged to have shot a Waterloo police officer early this morning.
According to Detective Mark Heffelfinger and DeKalb County Prosecutor ClaraMary Winebrenner, sometime before 3:00 am, an unknown white male and white female went to a residence on County Road 35, just north of town, to seek assistance for a vehicle that was said to have been stuck in a ditch.
Two Waterloo officers were sent to find the man, woman and vehicle to render assistance to them. Just after 3:00 am, Deputy Marshal Stephen Brady, 47 of Pleasant Lake and a 13 year veteran of the Waterloo Police Department, is believed to have encountered the two in the area of Railroad and Center Streets in the town of Waterloo. It was at this time, and for an unknown reason that Brady was shot in the face and is in serious condition at a Fort Wayne hospital.
At approximately 6:00 am, a call was received by a citizen in the 200 block of South Center Street indicating that there were some people hiding under his deck. When officers arrived, they found a man and woman laying under the deck as reported, refusing to obey the officers’ commands. It was reported that a taser device was deployed to gain voluntary compliance and it was allegedly at this time, the male displayed a hand gun and pointed it at officers.
The officers, fearing for their safety, fired an unknown number of rounds hitting both the man and woman. According to investigators and DeKalb County Coroner Jeff Warner, Ralph Daniel Hardiek, 41, of Auburn died at the scenes from his wounds. The woman, whose identity is still being ascertained, is in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital. The investigation is ongoing by the Indiana State Police and the DeKalb County Prosecutor’s and Coroner’s Offices and more information will be released as it comes available.