January 8, 2021

Investigation Underway Into Shots Fired Into Tippecanoe County Democratic Party Building

Article origination WBAA-AM
The door of the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party headquarters was boarded up Thursday evening. - Ben Thorp/WBAA

The door of the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party headquarters was boarded up Thursday evening.

Ben Thorp/WBAA

The Lafayette Police Department is investigating shots fired into the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party headquarters they say took place sometime overnight Wednesday.

The vandalism at the county Democratic party headquarters appears to have coincided with pro-Trump extremists convergence on the U.S. Capitol, and the Indiana Democratic Party sees a link between the two. 

The building’s front door was boarded up Thursday night. Police say they received a report at 4 p.m. Thursday and don’t have many details to release yet. 

Heather Maddox, Chair of the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party, said her landlord told her that eight bullets were fired into the building. 

“You know the adrenaline was there at first, and once I got down there and actually saw it, I’ll be honest, I got emotional,” she said. “Oddly, anger hasn’t come in a lot because I think I’m just more sad. It’s a sadness that this happened in our community.”

Maddox said it’s hard not to draw a connection with what happened in Washington and what happened here in Tippecanoe Country, but underscored she has a good relationship with local Republican party officials.  

“This is manifested to this here in our own hometown, Lafayette, Indiana, where frankly both parties get along pretty dang well,” she said.

Several state Democrats released statements denouncing the shooting.

Democratic State Representative Chris Campbell said the incident left her “heartbroken” and that “we need to get back to a place of civility.” 

John Zody, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, said the Tippecanoe County shooting shows that there is a long way to go in returning to civility. 

“Republican elected officials have been telling lies to the American people for the past few months,” Zody said. “It’s resulted in violence.”

Zody said the Indiana members of Congress who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory, despite numerous failed lawsuits and no credible evidence of widespread election fraud, should be held accountable. 

The Indiana Democratic Party released a petition earlier this week calling on five federal Republican lawmakers to resign, including Sen. Mike Braun, who reversed his position on opposing election certification

Zody said he’s not surprised that at least in Tippecanoe County local party leaders appear to have a good relationship. 

“You’ve got those relationships between local party officials, Democrat and Republican,” he said. “When you nationalize everything you become removed from reality ... but when you know each other and try and develop those relationships and understand this is our system, it helps foster that civility and that unity.” 

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