At least six bullets were fired into the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party headquarters on the night of January 7, a Lafayette Police Department spokesperson said. Nobody was inside the building during the shooting and the police reported no injuries.
“It’s sad,” Democratic Party Chairperson Heather Maddox said. “Yeah, you’re angry about it, but it’s just sad.”
LPD Lt. Matt Gard said police were notified of the attack late Thursday afternoon.
“This is still an early stage of the investigation,” Gard said. “It is unknown exactly when it happened, but it is believed that it occurred sometime last night.”
No suspects have been identified yet, as LPD conducts an ongoing investigation.
“It’s still early into the investigation and we were just notified shortly over two hours ago,” Gard said. “Officers and investigators are looking into everything.”
The investigation has been ongoing since the day of the shooting, but Gard said the LPD has no new information to share at this time.
Maddox said the building’s landlord notified her of the incident around 4:30 p.m. She let out a deep, drawn-out sigh, overwhelmed by the situation, before explaining.
“He said he’s down here with a police officer from the LPD and there’s been shots fired at the window,” she said Thursday evening.
“It was certainly something I thought I’d never see. The door was shot, the side window (was shot), glass was all over and the bullets had went inside obviously, so there was all the damage, and just sitting there seeing it, felt real, really…” Maddox trailed off.
Maddox said nobody has been in the office recently in part due to the pandemic and also the holiday season.
“Thank God nobody was in there and nobody got hurt,” Maddox said.
With apartments both above the building itself and along the street, the risk of a ricocheting bullet into a residence was present. Fortunately, no further damage or injury has been reported.
The attack was reported less than 24 hours after rioters made their way into the US Capitol to disrupt certification of the presidential election. While a connection between the Washington riots and the Lafayette shooting has not been made, Maddox suspects a direct correlation.
“You speculate, but you draw that conclusion,” Maddox said, “Because what just happened yesterday. There were no other buildings. They didn’t go down the street and shoot up buildings, you know? They just shot ours.
“It’s a terrible place we’re in right now, and it’s gotta stop.”
“It’s gotta stop.”
State Rep. Chris Campbell, D-West Lafayette, was upset by the shooting as well.
"Tonight's Tippecanoe County is unrecognizable. I am heartbroken," she said in a statement released on Thursday night. "The attack on the U.S. Capitol and the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party headquarters is an attack on democracy itself. This type of political violence demonstrated across the nation was fueled by inflammatory rhetoric that must come to an end.
"This division needs to stop immediately. We need to get back to a place of civility. It is time for We The People to come together to rebuild a healthy democratic society that we can be proud of. State and local leaders must condemn all acts of political violence, and I hope my colleagues join me in my condemnation of today's events."
Additional reporting by Noah Henson, News Editor