Sixteen-year- veteran Fort Wayne Police Officer David Tinsley died late Monday night after collapsing while on duty.
Tinsley, 50, had responded to assist other Fort Wayne police officers in pursuit of a vehicle stolen earlier in the day from New Haven. The pursuit took police to the River Greenway on Fort Wayne's south side, near the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and West Paulding Road.
Tinsley and his officer-in-training got onto the footpath, along with a FWPD K-9 unit, and they began searching the area. They found the suspect, 49-year-old Patrick Anthony Faiers of Fort Wayne, near where he had crashed the vehicle, according to a release from the Fort Wayne Police Department.
On his way back to his patrol car, Tinsley collapsed. While officers at the scene performed resuscitation efforts, Tinsley was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later, according to the release.
Faiers faces felony charges of burglary, being a habitual traffic violator, resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, and auto theft, according to police.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry called Tinsley a respected and valued member of the FWPD team.
"We’re fortunate to live in a community that appreciates and understands the important role that law enforcement has in our everyday lives. We’re a safer and stronger City because of the men and women of the FWPD," Henry said.
Henry asked that flags be flown at half-staff in Tinsley's honor until after his funeral.