Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

South Bend man who shot at ISP excise officer found guilty

Indiana State Police
Indiana State Police

A man who fired multiple rounds at an Indiana State Police officer was found guilty this week of attempted murder.

St. Joseph County Judge Jeff Sanford ruled Ian Austin was guilty of attempted murder this week, finding the 21-year-old intended to kill an excise officer with the Indiana State Police in a shootout in September of 2022.

Excise police typically enforce regulations from the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

Court documents say officer Joseph Formato began following Austin on Sept. 29, 2022 after Austin stopped in at the Eddy Street Food Mart and began driving east.

Court documents don’t say why Austin was followed initially, but Formato was about to make a traffic stop for Austin not stopping at a stop sign, when Austin got out of his car and began firing at the officer. Police say Austin fired 18 times while Formato fired back as Austin ran away. Neither person was hit in the exchange.

Austin was arrested a few days later. He will be sentenced later this year and faces a minimum of 20 years in prison.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.