ALBION — A man who pulled a gun on a Kendallville police officer and was shot down will be spending the next 22 1/2 years in prison.
Faustino Jesus Vasquez, 29, of Fort Wayne, was sentenced on a low-level Level 6 felony count of pointing a firearm that would normally result in only a short jail stay, but was hit with a big sentencing enhancement that will put him away for the next two decades.
Vasquez drew a gun and pointed it at Kendallville Officer Doug Davis during a Nov. 22, 2019, domestic disturbance call at a Kendallville mobile home park.
Davis was responding to the disturbance call just before 8 a.m. at 1815 Aspen Cove, a residence in the Maple Grove mobile home park on the city’s southeast side, located off Waits Road.
During the interaction, Davis sought to ensure that Vasquez was not armed, at which point Vasquez drew and pointed a handgun at the Kendallville PD veteran, according to the Noble County Prosecutor’s Office.
In response to the weapon, Davis drew his duty weapon and fired at Vasquez, striking him at least twice, before taking cover and calling for police backup and medical assistance.
The shots neutralized the threat and Vasquez was taken to a Fort Wayne hospital for treatment for the gunshot wounds. Vasquez wasn’t officially charged and arrested until Dec. 11, 2019, when prosecutors filed a Level 5 felony charge of carrying a handgun without a license and a Level 6 felony count of pointing a firearm.
An investigation of the police-involved shooting by state police and prosecutors determined that Davis acted appropriately in self defense in the incident.
In court on Monday in front of Senior Judge G. David Laur, Vasquez was sentenced via plea agreement, totaling 22 1/2 years of time in prison.
The Level 5 felony count was dismissed and Vasquez pleaded guilty to the Level 6 pointing a firearm count. He received a maximum 2 1/2 year sentence for that charge.
But, as part of the agreement, Vasquez was also sentenced with a sentencing enhancement that added an extra 20-year prison term to his charges, turning what’s normally a low-level felony into a major stretch in the Indiana Department of Correction.
The enhancement assigned to Vasquez’s conviction is one specifically in the Indiana Code for pointing or discharging a firearm at a law enforcement officer, with a possible range of five to 20 years regardless of the level of the underlying charge.
It’s different from a habitual offender enhancement, which is limited to up six years for Level 5 and Level 6 charged, but up to 20 years for higher-level felonies.
“In my opinion, this result is exactly what justice required in this case,” Noble County Prosecutor Jim Mowery said. “Officer Davis’ training and experience saved his life. The outstanding performance by Office Davis during a life-threatening situation along with the thorough investigation by the Indiana State Police has ensured that the good guys went home safe, and the bad guy went to prison.”
Since Vasquez was sentenced via plea agreement, he cannot appeal his conviction or sentence.