First homicide of the year declared self-defense


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Allen County Prosecutor has determined that the first homicide of 2014 was a result of self-defense, and no charges will be filed.

On Friday, the prosecutor’s office released the outcome of the completed investigation into the January 19 shooting and killing of Damian Miller II, 32, at a bar on the city’s north side.

The Allen County Sheriff’s Department investigation into Miller’s death, which was declared a homicide, found that Miller attacked a security officer at Dupont Bar and Grill with a broken beer bottle. Miller hit the security guard in the head with the beer bottle, injuring him, at which point the security guard acted in self-defense and shot Miller.

“He broke, shattered a beer bottle over this guy’s head and then continued to hold the broken neck of the beer bottle in his hand,” Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said, “The employee felt the need to act in self-defense and shot him.  It’s a terrible, unfortunate set of circumstances but I think the only correct answer here is that the employee cannot be charged because this is clearly self-defense.”

The release from the prosecutor did not state what started the fight between Miller and the security guard. A friend of Miller previously said a bouncer in the bar was trying to get everyone out of the club. During that process, the friend claims Miller and the bouncer got into a verbal altercation.

The release from the prosecutor emphasizes that Indiana’s self-defense law justifies using deadly force and does not have to retreat if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person.