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Officers honored in Indianapolis grocery store attacks

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 7:06 am

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers on Wednesday honored two police officers for ending an attack at a supermarket last month by killing a man who had gunned down two people and was threatening to kill a third.

Indiana House members stood and applauded after approving a resolution recognizing the bravery of Elkhart police Cpl. Jason Tripp and Cpl. Cody Skipper, who shot and killed the gunman during the Jan. 15 attack as he threatened to shoot the manager of Martin's Super Market.

They also held a moment of silence honoring the two women who were killed, 20-year-old store employee Krystle Dikes and 44-year-old shopper Rachelle Godfread, as Dikes' mother, Godfread's brother and other relatives stood with the officers on the House floor.

Rep. Tim Neese, R-Elkhart, said the community was grateful for the response by the officers.

“These well-trained brave men did exactly what they were taught,” Neese said. “Had it not been for the quick actions of Cody and Jason, there would have clearly been more lives lost.”

Tripp and Skipper also received public safety awards from Gov. Mike Pence during a ceremony at the governor's office.

The officers' supervisor, Lt. Brent Long, told House members that the night of the shooting was among the scariest he's ever faced.

“It's unfortunate we could not get there earlier, but I'm very proud of them,” Long said.

State police investigators say they don't know a motive for the shootings by 22-year-old Shawn Bair. Police say Bair walked around the store for about 30 minutes before shooting Dikes as she stocked shelves and Godfread as she shopped.

Skipper told reporters that he and Tripp reacted just as any officer would have.

“I wasn't expecting to be a hero,” Skipper said. “I can't really process right now what I was thinking when we first showed up. I just knew something had to be done.”