WCSI Local News

No Charges Filed in Brown County Shooting

No charges will be filed against the officers involved in a police action shooting that resulted in the death of a suspect on Thanksgiving night.

Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver announced Friday that he had reviewed the Indiana State Police investigation into the events of that evening. He said that officers acted reasonably and in self-defense when they shot 44-year-old Troy Harden, and that no criminal charges will be brought against the officers involved.

"Mr. Harden chose his life to end this way," Oliver said. "Mr. Harden had told friends he wasn't going to prison, and he took deliberate actions that forced officers to react the way they did."

"The officers showed great restraint. They attempted non-lethal force several times when they were threatened with a gun and responded with lethal force only when Mr. Harden aimed his weapon directly at them."

"The agencies involved acted appropriately in asking for an independent investigation from the Indiana State Police. ISP detectives conducted a thorough and professional investigation. It is clear that the officers' actions were justified," Oliver said.

On Nov. 28, the Brown County Sheriff's Department received a tip that Harden, a resident of Nashville, was at a home on Annandale Drive, and that there was a warrant for his arrest. Officers confirmed two warrants for probation violations from Monroe County.

Officers from the Brown County Sheriff's Department and the Nashville Town Marshal's Office arrived at the house to serve the warrant. They were permitted into the home by the renter and located Harden there. Officers and the renter told Indiana State Police detectives that Harden resisted and told police to "kill him." Officers saw that Harden was in possession of a black handgun. One officer deployed his taser; however Harden escaped through a window.

Officers pursued Harden through the adjoining woods and attempted to use their taser again. They continued to follow Harden through the woods and onto Annandale Drive.

Officers were then able to make contact with Harden with a taser. Immediately after Harden fell to the ground, he pointed his gun directly at law enforcement officers. Those two officers fired their weapons at Harden, striking him twice. Officers immediately rendered first aid to Harden, who was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The ISP Crime Scene Investigators located Harden's handgun at the scene. The next day, investigators located components of a methamphetamine lab in Harden's truck, which was found at the home on Annandale Drive.

Witnesses told ISP detectives that Harden knew there was a warrant for his arrest and that he was afraid of going to prison.

Last Updated: Saturday, December 14, 2013 5:31:05 AM

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