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Indiana State Police: Man grabbed his gun before fatally shot by trooper

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – A 56-year-old man grabbed his gun Friday night before being fatally shot by a trooper, Indiana State Police said Saturday. 

Glenn A. Rightsell of Linden died at Franciscan Health Crawfordsville hospital after he was shot. State police have not identified the trooper who shot Rightsell. 

Earlier Friday, the trooper had tagged an abandoned sport-utility vehicle on the side of northbound U.S. 231 near Montgomery County Road 550 North. That’s near North Montgomery High School, about 15 miles south of Lafayette. 

After the trooper tagged the black 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe shortly before 4 p.m. Friday, the trooper continued on his normal patrol, a Saturday news release from state police said.

About 6:35 p.m. Friday, the same trooper was driving south on U.S. 231 when he saw a white 2018 Dodge car had pulled up in front of the Tahoe, the release said. Rightsell was at the front of the vehicle with the hood open.

A woman told the Journal Review her husband had been working on her daughter’s car in front of the high school. 

State police said the trooper saw a handgun on the Rightsell’s waist as the trooper pulled his vehicle behind the Tahoe and parked with his emergency lights and spotlight on to investigate why the car was there.

“As the trooper approached from the driver’s side of the Tahoe, he identified himself as a law enforcement officer and gave verbal commands to Mr. Rightsell. Mr. Rightsell failed to comply with the directions and allegedly grabbed the gun on his waist, at which time the trooper drew his sidearm and fired upon Mr. Rightsell, striking him at least once,” the release said. 

After the shooting, the trooper used his radio to indicate shots were fired and request help. Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived to secure the scene and give first aid to Rightsell before he was taken to the hospital.

The release said, “A complete investigation will be conducted by the Indiana State Police and the report will be forwarded to Montgomery County Prosecutor Joseph Buser for review. Family of Mr. Rightsell have been notified. The trooper’s name will be released at a later date.”

State police additional information will come from Montgomery County Prosecutor Joseph Buser, who would decide if any criminal charges will be filed.

Kelly Twitter of Crawfordsville, a friend of the family, has organized a vigil for Rightsell. It will be at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Montgomery County Courthouse, 100 E. Main St.. That’s in downtown Crawfordsville at U.S. 231 and U.S. 136/State Road 23. 

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