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Prosecutor clears officers of criminal acts in fatal shooting of 19-year-old man

A Glock 17 9mm handgun used in a shooting on Oct. 24, 2023, in New Pittsburg, Indiana. (Provided Photo/Indiana State Police)

WINCHESTER, Ind. (WISH) — The Randolph County prosecutor has cleared officers of any criminal wrongdoing in an October police shooting that killed a 19-year-old man, the Indiana State Police revealed in a document shared Saturday.

Brayden Daniel Barnhouse, of Muncie, died in the police shooting Oct. 24 on Main Street of New Pittsburg. The unincorporated Randolph County community is about a 1-hour, 45-minute drive northeast of downtown Indianapolis.

Barnhouse’s funeral was Monday in Muncie. His obituary says he had worked for various factories in the area.

Police have said Barnhouse encountered two deputies, produced a handgun, and fired at them at 5:17 p.m. Oct. 24 at an intersection in the rural community with about a dozen homes that’s about a 10-mile drive northwest of Union City. The community sits just south of the border of Randolph and Jay counties in east central Indiana.

The deputies previously were identified as Sgt. Jeffrey Miller, who has been with the department 12 years, and Deputy Kevin Kouns, who has been the department for two years. Kouns sustained a superficial wound, and was treated at the scene. Per standard department policy, both deputies were to be placed on administrative leave until the investigation was completed and the Randolph County prosecutor can review the state police’s investigative report.

The document that state police released Saturday came from Randolph County Prosecutor David M. Daly.

In the document dated Thursday, the prosecutor writes he reviewed bodycam footage from the officers. The document says Barnhouse revealed a handgun from underneath his shirt and shot Kouns, as the prosecutor wrote, “for no apparent reason, without provocation.”

The document continued, “The officers (Deputy Kouns and Sgt. Miller) responded and shot Mr. Barnhouse. As Mr. Barnhouse was on the ground, he made furtive movements and appeared to be reaching from behind his back to his front after being shot. He was shot a second time and still appears to be reaching for a gun when Sgt. Miller was finally able to restrain him.”

The police shooting began with a call to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department about a reported overdose shortly before 5 p.m. Oct. 24 at a home on East Elm Street in New Pittsburg. Deputies arrived to learn from Barnhouse’s family that he had left the home, and deputies began to search for him, state police said in a news release.

“Within a minute later of making contact with the suspect, he reportedly produced a Glock 17 9mm handgun and fired a round at the deputies. The two deputies responded by firing their sidearms and hitting the suspect at least once. Medical aid was immediately provided to the suspect, however, he was pronounced dead by Randolph County Coroner Darin James,” the state police news release issued Oct. 24 said.

State police shared a photo of the gun in the Oct. 24 news release.

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