Officers fatally shoot man outside Indiana courthouse

Photo of shooting scene courtesy WEHT-TV

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A bat-wielding man was fatally shot Tuesday by officers in a confrontation outside a federal courthouse in Indiana, a day after he was escorted from the same building, police said.

Evansville police Sgt. Jason Cullum said an Evansville police officer and a federal courthouse security officer opened fire about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday on the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office identified the man as 55-year-old Ricky Ard of Evansville.

Cullum said Ard had visited the Winfield K. Denton Federal Building on Monday and expressed “concerns about the government.” The building includes federal court offices and other federal agencies. Cullum declined to discuss Ard’s specific concerns, saying those are now part of the investigation into fatal police shootings.

“He did speak with some members of one of the federal agencies and was escorted off the property at the end of that interview,” Cullum said.

Ard returned Tuesday to the courthouse in Evansville, about 170 miles southwest of Indianapolis, armed with a bat and broke windows in the front doors of the federal courthouse, police said. A federal police officer who tried to prevent him from entering the building was struck in the face with flying glass and sought medical treatment.

Witness Scotty Williams told the Evansville Courier & Press the man appeared angry and had a bat he was “slinging everywhere.” The man approached an officer with the bat and that officer shot him four or five times, Williams said.

Another witness, Anthony Wolf, said he saw an officer try to use a stun gun on the man, “but it must have missed.” He said the man chased the officer with the bat and that the officer then fired his gun while backing away.

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

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