Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

South Bend man charged with attempted murder over shooting incident with police officer

Justin Hicks
IPB News

A South Bend man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly firing more than a dozen shots at an Indiana State Excise Police officer who was following him.

Twenty-year-old Ian Steven Austin was arrested Tuesday by state troopers in Mishawaka and charged Wednesday with attempted murder, criminal recklessness and other felonies.

Court documents allege that Austin fired 18 rounds at excise officer Joseph Formato on Sept. 29. Formato, who was working a special detail around St. Joseph County convenience stores, was on duty at Eddy Street Food Mart when he saw Austin leave the store’s parking lot and began following him.

Formato said he saw Austin roll through a stop sign, was going to conduct a traffic stop and turned on his rear emergency lights. But he says Austin then got out of his car and began firing.

Formato returned fire. He was not wounded in the shooting.

Contact Jakob at or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating here.

Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.