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Fatal Shooting In Bloomington Ruled Act Of Self-Defense

Last updated on Friday, January 6, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON) - The fatal shooting death in Bloomington was an act of self-defense. The Monroe County prosecutor’s office said it does not plan on charging a 20-year-old Casey Ratts.

Ratts shot and killed 29-year-old Scott Melton. Police said Melton lunged at Ratts with a knife during a party in the 4900 block of South Rogers Street. Melton died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Ratts used his own .357 magnum revolver to fire one shot at Scott Melton, who reportedly lunged at Ratts with a knife. Just before the shooting, Melton threatened others with his .22-caliber handgun. The gun was taken away from Melton, because he was drunk and others at the party were afraid he would shot someone.

That is when things escalated. Melton then got a large knife and started lunging at Ratts. Ratts drew his own gun and ordered Melton to stop. Melton refused and that is when Ratts fired a single shot that hit Melton in the head.

Ratts had not been drinking and has a license to carry the handgun, Miller said.

Police were called to the home about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday to a report that someone had been shot.

An autopsy for Melton is scheduled for Thursday morning in Terre Haute.

Melton and Ratts did not know each other prior to attending Tuesday night's gathering,, according to Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said.

The woman, who hosted the party, and Melton were former neighbors. The gathering included five or six adult acquaintances and six or seven children, including toddlers and teenagers.

Melton's own three children were at the South Rogers Street home at the time of the fatal shooting. So were Ratts' three children.

Ratts was interviewed by Monroe County detectives Wednesday morning and was later released. Several witnesses to the shooting were also interviewed, and they gave consistent statements, Miller said.

As the case stands now, the shooting was in self-defense, said Miller. The investigation into the shooting continues.

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