(AP) — The school superintendent in Hammond was in critical condition
Wednesday after being beaten in a home invasion.
Walter Watkins, 67, suffered extensive head injuries and a fractured jaw
in the attack, said Hammond police Lt. Richard Hoyda. Watkins' sister
found her injured brother Tuesday when she stopped by his house to bring
him breakfast, Hoyda said.
Watkins was being
treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where
hospital spokesman Tony Ellis said Watkins remained in critical condition
Hoyda said that
when officers arrived at Watkins' home, "he was conscious but barely
coherent when we first found him."
are checking the area for anyone who has any information about this,"
Hoyda told The Times of Munster.
When Watkins was
found, his home was darkened by a widespread power outage that followed a
wave of severe storms that swept through the region early Tuesday.
Hoyda said police
don't have a motive in the attack, which occurred between Monday night and
Theo Boone, the
school district's chief financial officer, said he will be leading the
district until Terri Mayerick, chief administrator for academic services,
returns from vacation.
cooperating with the police, and there will be a full investigation,"
Watkins has been
with the School City of Hammond 37 years, starting off as a teacher at
Eggers Middle School. He has been superintendent nearly 12 years.
told The Times that Watkins was once shot while he was a teacher at
Eggers, but they had no other details about what occurred during that
Watkins took over
as the district's superintendent in January 2003, becoming the district's
first black superintendent.
President Patrick O'Rourke said he's "shocked and mortified" by the attack
that injured Watkins.
"I have a lot of
affection for Dr. Watkins. He's a good human being and a good
superintendent," O'Rourke said.