Prosecutor: Use of lethal force by officer “completely justified”

Press conference set for 1:30 p.m.

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards discusses the investigation into a police action shooting on December 1, 2017.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Allen County Prosecutor’s Office held a press conference Friday afternoon to announce no charges will be filed against the police officer who shot a man who later died after suffering a medical emergency.

Prosecutor Karen Richards said Fort Wayne Police Officer Sage A. Knopp was “completely justified” when she shot 53-year-old Jeffrey Daniel Jones inside a home in the 3100 block of Elmdale Drive back on October 27. Jones was hospitalized for a time before being released to the Allen County Jail, but died Nov. 16 after suffering a medical emergency.

It’s not clear if his death was related to the shooting. The Allen County Coroner’s Office said after Jones’ death that his cause and manner of death were “pending.”

During the press conference Richards stated that this was a “clear cut example of self defense” on the part of the officer.

Photo of Jeffery D. Jones provided by the Allen County Sheriff’s Dept.

Richards gave details of a report her office used to come to its conclusion to not file charges. Richards said a woman called police around 4:30 that day after her husband did not let her into the home, and was armed. Richards said three officers, including Officer Sage Knopp, responded. Jones invited them in, and was described to have a pleasant demeanor.

Richards said that demeanor changed when officers went to pat him down. The report said Jones lunged at the officers. He threw one against the wall so hard that an imprint of the officer’s body was left on the drywall. Richards said Jones allegedly put officers in headlocks, punched them, and threw them out of the house onto the concrete. The officers deployed a stun gun on Jones, but Richards said it had no effect.

Richards said it was outside while Knopp was on the ground Jones got on top of her and tried to grab her gun. That’s when Knopp felt her life was in danger and shot Jones in the stomach. However, Richards said that didn’t clam Jones down. He continued to go for her gun, even getting his finger on the trigger. Richards said he pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed.

Jones was taken to a local hospital in serious condition. The officers were also taken to the hospital to be checked out for minor injuries.

Knopp was placed on paid administrative leave. She returned to regular duty status on Nov. 5.

Jones, meanwhile, was charged with 11 felonies, but those were all dropped after this death.

The Fort Wayne Police Department, the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office and Indiana State Police had been investigating the shooting.