Huntington officer cleared in fatal shooting at city park

Local News

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — A Huntington officer that was involved in a shooting at Yeoman Park has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

It was just after 1 p.m. on Oct. 23 when Huntington County Sheriff’s deputies and Huntington Police officers were called to a home on a well-being check for a suicidal person. Police arrived at the home but did not find the person, and they began a search of the area.

Officers found the man at Yeoman Park, just northeast of downtown Huntington. The man was armed and did not comply with police, and a foot chase ensued, police said at the time.

Shots were fired from the officers, and the man, later identified as 29-year-old Vincent Michael Smith of Huntington, was killed.

According to Huntington County Prosecutor Amy Richison, the officer acted reasonably and did not commit any crimes when he shot Smith.

“Police received a report that Mr. Smith had threatened to commit suicide and they found him walking about Huntington with a firearm.  Police pursued Mr. Smith and yelled for him to drop his gun while Mr. Smith was running to Yeoman park.  Members of the public were at or near the park when police were pursuing Mr. Smith.  Police attempted to get Mr. Smith to drop his gun by giving him verbal commands and a K-9 was released as well.  Police shot Mr. Smith only when he pointed his firearm at the law enforcement officers. The officer who shot Mr. Smith fired his weapon one time and struck Mr. Smith in his upper body.  Police quickly engaged in life-saving measures, but Mr. Smith died despite law enforcement efforts to save his life.  Based upon all of the facts provided, I determined the officer who shot Vincent Smith acted reasonably to protect himself, his fellow officers, and our community.”

Amy Richison Huntington County Chief Prosecuting Attorney

Huntington County Sheriff Chris Newton said the officer has returned to active duty.

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