The officer from October’s police-involved shooting at Yeoman Park acted reasonably and has been cleared, according to the Huntington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Huntington County Chief Prosecuting Attorney Amy Richison determined that the officer did not commit any crimes when he shot an armed man who had reportedly been threatening to commit suicide.
Police say officers provided multiple verbal commands for the suspect to drop his weapon before a foot pursuit ensued. A K9 was also used before the officer fired their weapon.
Richison said citizens were at or near the park during the incident.
“Police shot the man only when he pointed his firearm at the law enforcement officers, and the officer fired his gun one time,” Richison said. “The officer who shot the man acted reasonably to protect himself, his fellow officers and our community.”
Indiana State Police conducted an independent investigation into the shooting.
ISP investigators identified the deceased male as Vincent Michael Smith, 29, of Huntington.
Richison said the Indiana State Police investigation did not find that Smith discharged his weapon.
On Oct. 23 around 1 p.m., officers located Smith behind an Enterprise car rental store on Tipton Street, and investigators say Smith was walking toward Business U.S. 24 when they made contact with him.
ISP investigators say Smith reportedly pointed a gun at his head and at officers before entering Yeoman Park.
Smith reportedly fled from police, causing a foot chase to begin. During the pursuit, ISP officers say there was an exchange of gunfire that led to Smith being struck with a bullet.
Life-saving measures at the scene were unsuccessful, and Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.