Crime Watch 8

Top cops in Brownstown cleared in police shooting

BROWNSTOWN, Ind. (WISH/The Republic) — The Jackson County prosecutor has cleared Brownstown Police Chief Tom Hanner and Assistant Chief Joe Kelly of criminal liability in a police shooting on April 3, The Republic of Columbus reported Monday. 

The officers lawfully used deadly force against Barry Rucker in an act of self-defense, the prosecutor ruled. 

Hanner and Kelly were placed on administrative leave after the fatal shooting April 3 outside the police department in this town of 2,900 in Jackson County, Indiana State Police said. The shooting occurred after a 911 call about 8 a.m. Wednesday reported an altercation involving a man and woman outside the police department. 

Police said Wednesday that 53-year-old Rucker was fatally shot after he produced a handgun while resisting arrest during a domestic dispute. Rucker died shortly after the shooting in a Seymour hospital. 

Online court records show Rucker was facing charges of domestic battery and intimidation with a deadly weapon. Those charges were filed in November, and a pretrial conference had been set for the morning before the shooting. 

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Sgt. Stephen Wheeles of the state police said April 3 that Hanner and Kelly believed Rucker needed to be taken into custody. When the officers tried to arrest him, Rucker pulled out the gun, and the officers opened fire.

Wheeles said he did not know how many times Rucker was struck. 

Brownstown is about 70 miles south of Indianapolis.