Kellems: Lt. Gene Lasco, killed at the Indiana State Prison, is a hero

 

The first cars leading a long stretch of law enforcement and other vehicles leading the body of Lt. Gene Lasco to Root Funeral Home on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Lt. Gene Lasco

By WNLP’s Mike Kellems

We suffered the loss of a public servant this week when Indiana Department of Correction Lt. Gene Lasco was killed at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Details of the incident remain sketchy as the investigation is ongoing. But we do know that around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, Lt. Lasco was fatally stabbed after coming to the aid of his fellow officer, Sgt. Padrick Schmitt. As of Feb. 24, Schmitt remained hospitalized with serious injuries. 

The inmate responsible for the murder of Lt. Lasco is serving a 130-year sentence after being convicted of murdering three people in Marion County.

I’d like to call your attention to the sacrifice that Lt. Lasco made while serving the state of Indiana. On the day he died, Lasco left his wife and his home and headed to work at Indiana’s oldest prison, located in the northwest corner of Michigan City. I’d imagine he hoped for a quiet shift, being that it was Sunday and the weather was brutally cold. I’d like to think that he had thoughts of finishing his shift and going home to a warm dinner and a hot fireplace.

Sadly, that didn’t happen.

As we now know, he suffered life-ending injuries in a senseless tragedy while rushing to the aid of his fellow man. 

According to the Bible, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” 

Lt. Lasco did just as described in Verse 13 of the 15th chapter in the Book of John. He saw a co-worker in trouble, responded and ultimately gave his life.

Work in the corrections field – regardless of what type of facility – is risky, it is dangerous, it is for low pay, it is often in difficult circumstances, and it is, without question, thankless. 

WNLP’s Mike Kellems

Here is what screams out to me: Lt. Lasco, like Sgt. Schmitt and hundreds of others, went to work knowing those facts. 

What is important and what has motivated me to write to you is this; We as a community need to step up, honor and recognize the sacrifice made by this hero. Our hero.

Lt. Lasco was a resident of La Porte County; he was our neighbor and our friend. He protected us from bad people, and for that alone he was deserving of our respect. It now falls upon the good citizens of La Porte County to recognize this fallen hero. 

In the near term, as law enforcement honors him this coming weekend, we need to show Lt. Lasco’s family and co-workers that we feel their loss and we support them 110 percent.

Lt. Lasco left his home on Sunday, never to return. He died a true American hero and we owe it to him and his family to do our best to take the sting out of his death just a little bit. It is the very least we can do. 

Need some ideas? Put blue ribbons around trees. Fly your American flag at half staff. Stand along the procession route and hold signs showing your support. If you’re a business owner with an advertising sign, put up a message. At the very least, lift up his family in prayer. In the coming weeks, city and county councils, boards of public works and commissioners should issue proclamations. 

It’ll never be enough, but it is a start in the right direction.

EDITOR’S NOTE: State Sen. Mike Bohacek has created a GoFundMe page for the Lasco family. If you are interested in donating, visit Fundraiser by Mike Bohacek : Michigan City Correction Officer Tragedy (gofundme.com).

11 Responses to “Kellems: Lt. Gene Lasco, killed at the Indiana State Prison, is a hero”

  1. Left LaPorte

    Feb 25. 2021

    How about some swift justice? Replace his ridiculous term sentence to send him to his maker now!!!! All violent criminals who have repeating violent crimes, aka murders or child molestations, be euthanized without appeal.

    Reply to this comment
    • Mike K

      Feb 25. 2021

      “Left”… while I certain there are many that agree with you, this is the time we should all come together in support of the Lasco family as well as Sgt. Schmitt.

      In the future there will be plenty of opportunity to lead the charge against the murderous felon.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Hugh Tonagel

    Feb 25. 2021

    Thank you Mike for pointing out what we sometimes take for granted (those that protect us) and helping us recognize true heroes. May we lift his family up in prayer and never assume law enforcement is just a daily given.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Cathy yanke

    Feb 25. 2021

    So very sadden by your loss..your loved one made a difference.He gave his all…his life to help a fellow employee..May you find some peace and comfort in knowing how much he loved you all..

    Reply to this comment
    • Cops wife

      Feb 25. 2021

      To Lt. Lasco’s family, friends, and colleagues,

      You have my deepest sympathies in this sad time but please remember that Lt Lasco saved another man’s life. I am sure Sgt Schmitt will be forever grateful and in awe of him.

      Mike K. You are correct. To any law enforcement officer who may read this whether active or retired. THANK YOU for being so selfless! God bless and be safe.

      Reply to this comment
    • JOE HALLEN

      Mar 09. 2021

      THANK U F0R Y0UR SERVICE, LIEUTENANT EUGENE LASC0. U CAME T0 THE AID 0* Y0UR FELL0W. INDIANA STATE PRIS0N SERGEANT SCHMIDTT WH0 WAS STABBED BUT DIDN*T DIE IN THE L0DD, AKA LINE 0* DUTY DEATH AS U DID Y0UR NAME & BADGE # IS SACRED & REVERED IN HEAVEN F0R ALL TH0SE WH0 GAVE THEIR LIFE IN ALL 0* THE USA BC U, SIR R GUARDIN* THE GATES 0* ST PETERT0 HEAVEN PS U DID THE J0B THAT FEW CAN D0. SINCERE C0ND0LENCES T0 Y0UR FAMILY, FRIENDS, FELL0W C0LLEAGUES & ALL WH0 KNEW & L0VED U. U R N0W RESTIN* IN G0D*S PETERNAL PARADISE, U R IN A BETTER PLACE*

      Reply to this comment
  4. Left LaPorte

    Feb 25. 2021

    Mike K,

    My apologies to all! In my disgust for the tragic loss of Lt. Lasko’s life by heroically coming to the aid of a fellow Corrections Officer, I hit the submit button too quickly! My deepest sympathy and condolences to his family, fellow officers and friends. I meant no disrespect to this man in any way.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Barb smith

    Feb 25. 2021

    May we all come together as a community and be there for his family! He was a true American Hero in ever sense of the word! We can all take comfort in knowing that he did as the Bible says in the Book of John and helped his fellow employee and is now in the presence of the Lord! May he Rest In Peace and may we never forget his sacrifice!!! May God give comfort to his family and friends at this time of such a tragic loss!!!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Philip

    Feb 25. 2021

    As a Retired N.Y.C Correction Officer,
    I realize the sacrifice we make each and every day.
    It really goes unnoticed to the public.
    N.Y.C Boldest mourn your passing and Pray for your family.
    Rest in Pease Lt Lasko,

    Reply to this comment
  7. C HALL

    Feb 26. 2021

    What a great person he is , the sacrifice he may, there’s only few like him a decent human being. May God bless his soul and take of his wife and family. Comfort him and his family with prayers, he’s truly a brother that wore the
    Uniform. RIP

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jon

    Feb 26. 2021

    Godspeed Lieutenant!

    May God heal your family, they won’t be whole but they will eventually heal. Help them to remember the time they did have you in their life and embrace the promise of seeing you again one day.

    Reply to this comment

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