Officials: Teen Used WWII-Era Rifle

The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 19, 2007; 9:18 PM

GEORGETOWN, Ind. -- A 15-year-old boy used a World War II-era sniper rifle to fatally shoot a deputy and critically wound another outside his southern Indiana home, authorities said Tuesday.

The teen, Tyler Dumstorf, had shot the deputies Monday evening and was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot early Tuesday inside the home about 13 miles outside Louisville, Ky., authorities said.

Prosecutor Keith Henderson said the boy's father bought the M1 Garand some time ago and that he and his son shot it during target practice. The gun is a showpiece, and possessing one is not illegal, the prosecutor said.

"The cause of yesterday's tragedy isn't the weapon. It's the person who fired it," he said.

The deputies had gone to the home to investigate a call from his mother about a confrontation with the teen. The teen had been due in court Tuesday on a misdemeanor marijuana charge, Henderson said, and that hearing was apparently part of the discussion with his mother.

"There was nothing to indicate to the officers that it was anything more than a routine domestic call," Henderson said.

As the officers were talking to his mother and an aunt in the driveway, the boy fired from an upstairs window, striking each deputy in the back, he said. White was able to return fire, but none of his shots hit Dumstorf, Henderson said.

Minutes later, Henderson said, the boy posted a message on his Web page that said: "I just killed two cops. Goodbye."

The teen was found early Tuesday after police unable to make contact with him sent a camera-equipped robot into the home.

The prosecutor said the deputies were "sitting ducks" and had no chance to protect themselves.

Deputy Frank Denzinger, a four-year veteran of the sheriff's department, died hours after the shooting, Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said. Deputy Joel White, who has been with the department 17 months, was hospitalized Tuesday in serious condition, Mills said.

Sheriff's Lt. Frank Loop said the boy's mother was not injured.

Dumstorf had just completed his freshman year at Floyd Central High School in nearby Floyds Knobs, said school spokesman Dave Rarick. He gave no other information about the boy, citing federal privacy laws.

Entries on Dumstorf's MySpace page indicated he was an honors student and that he liked classic rock.

© 2007 The Associated Press