HANCOCK COUNTY – A Hancock County law enforcement officer was justified in his use of deadly force in a July 31 shooting that left a man dead, said Hancock County Prosecutor, Brent Eaton. Darrin Baker was shot twice and died a short time later, despite measures to save his life.
There will be no criminal charges brought against the officer.
Prosecutor Eaton said the matter was thoroughly investigated by the Indiana State Police. The prosecutor’s office reviewed the report, other relevant records, and media concerning the event.
“There is no need to continue this investigation,” said Prosecutor Eaton. “It is unfortunate that a life was lost. The evidence clearly indicates that Mr. Baker was in the process of taking a life when he was stopped by a police officer.”
On the morning of July 31, officers were called to the Keystone Subdivision. They determined shots had been fired and the victim had been forcibly removed from their vehicle and forced inside their residence.
Officers entered the residence, clearly announcing their presence. The victim responded clearly and repeatedly, “He has a gun!”
Officers found Baker straddling his victim, who was lying on the ground. Baker’s arms were positioned so that the firearm was near the face, head, and upper torso of the victim.
Despite being told loudly and clearly several times to drop the gun, Baker refused to do so. Officer Davis fired two shots from his department-issued carbine rifle with both shots hitting Baker, who collapsed to the ground.
Baker was in possession of a gun and was unresponsive. First aid was immediately rendered and an ambulance was called. However, Baker was pronounced dead a short time later.
The investigation revealed that the gun Baker had was fired three times at the residence. The first shot shattered the driver’s side window glass in their vehicle and the other two shots were fired inside the home. One was into the ground near the victim’s head and the other into the wall behind where the struggle occurred.
“All the evidence points to the fact that Baker intended to kill his victim and was, in fact, attempting to do so when officers intervened.”
Baker disregarded the officer’s commands and continued his attack. The shooting by Officer Davis falls under IC 35-41-3-2(c)(1) and is legally justified.