Chief: Suspect pointed gun at officers before fatal shooting

Law enforcement officers investigate a fatal officer-involved shooting on S.R. 114 in North Manchester on Mar. 6, 2018.

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (WANE) – A 40-year-old North Manchester Man pointed a gun at police officers during a fatal traffic stop Tuesday night, according to North Manchester Police Chief Jim Kirk.

The additional information was released about 24 hours after Michael Kline was shot in the parking lot of The Eel River Inn.

Kirk said North Manchester Police Officer Parker Stouffer initiated a traffic stop. Kline pulled into the parking lot and North Manchester Sgt. Nate Birch and North Manchester Police Officer Issac Adams pulled in behind Stouffer to assist.

Kirk told NewsChannel 15 Tuesday night both Birch and Adams were in the immediate area when they heard the traffic stop on the radio. It’s not uncommon for officers to backup other officers during traffic stops.

Kirk said Kline pulled out a 9-millimeter handgun and aimed it at officers. Stouffer then fired his service weapon.

Kline was pronounced dead at the scene despite live-saving measures by officers and paramedics.

After the shooting, police said they found some 10 grams of methamphetamine, five grams of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia inside the Chevrolet pickup.

Tuesday, Indiana State Police Spokesman Sgt. Tony Slocum said Kline was initially pulled over for a “traffic infraction,” but additional information about what happened to initiate the stop has not been released. Kirk said previously Stouffer was working through an Operation Pullover grant.

Kirk said the officer was wearing a body cam, but it was covered up by his jacket. State police investigators are reviewing video from the police car’s dashcam. It’s not clear if the other two officers captured anything on camera.

Stouffer, who joined the North Manchester Police Department in August 2016, is on administrative leave, pending results of the state police investigation. Slocum said Stouffer will likely be interviewed Thursday. Once the state police concludes its investigation it will be reviewed by the Wabash County Prosecutor.

The three officers were not hurt.

The incident is under investigation.