Evansville Police Chief Zach Gentile suffered an aortic aneurysm hours after investigating a fatal shooting late last week at Taylor’s Sports Bar, Mayor Phil Hinds confirmed.
Gentile is currently recovering at the Wyoming Medical Center.
“He was operated on and is recovering nicely,” Hinds said.
Hinds said the aneurysm struck Thursday afternoon while Gentile was at home.
“He had been up the previous night and interviewing people, and at about 9 in the morning he went home to take a nap,” Hinds said. “About 1 p.m. he collapsed, his wife called 9-1-1 and they got him to the hospital.”
Hinds said Gentile’s medical condition had nothing to do with the stress of the investigation.
An aortic aneurysm is described by WebMD as a bulge in a section of the aorta that can cause it to overstretch and burst. If this occurs, it can cause serious bleeding that can lead to death, according to the website.
Gentile is expected to be released in a few days and will be off work for two to four weeks, Hinds said. In the meantime, the mayor said, Capt. Tom Laughrey will run the department.
A call to the Evansville Police Department seeking comment from Laughrey went directly to an answering machine.
“He plans on being back to work full time, as soon as possible,” Hinds said of Gentile.