(BROWN CO.) - Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver announced Friday that officers acted reasonable and in self-defense in the Thanksgiving evening shooting that left Troy Harden dead.
"Mr. Harden chose his life to end this way," said Oliver. "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. It is clear that the officers' actions were justified."
On Thursday, November 28, the Brown County Sheriff's Department received a tip that 44-year-old Troy Harden of Nashville was at a residence on Annandale Drive, and there were warrants for his arrest on 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 warrants. They were permitted into the home by the renter and found Harden there. Officers and the renter told ISP detectives that Harden resisted police and told them to "kill him." Harden was armed in possession of a black handgun. One officer deployed his taser; however Harden escaped through a window.
Officers chased Harden through the adjoining woods and attempted to use their taser again buy the attempt failed. They continued to follow Harden through the woods and onto Annandale Drive Officers were able to catch up with Harden and used their taser, causing Harden to fall to the ground. That is when he pointed his gun at the deputy and the Nashville officer, who both fired their weapons at Harden, striking him twice. Officers immediately rendered first aid and Harden was taken to the 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 meth lab in Harden's truck, which was found at the home on Annandale Drive.
Witnesses told ISP detectives that Harden knew there was warrants for his arrest and he was afraid of going to prison.
Oliver says under Indiana Code 35-41-3-2 provides a person is justified in using reasonable force, including deadly force, if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony.
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