Evansville police shoot and kill a man officers say was having an ‘episode’

EVANSVILLE – Evansville police shot and killed a man Friday who they believed was in the middle of a mental health “episode.”

The man had not been publicly identified as of 6:30 p.m. Friday. The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office will release his name after an autopsy, EPD spokeswoman Taylor Merriss said in a news release.

In body camera footage EPD posted to its Facebook page Friday afternoon, an officer repeatedly asks the man, who struggles to speak English, to put down a knife. The videos come from two officers: the officer who initially responded to the call and a second who later arrives and tasers the man.

The footage shows how an incident that initially began as a “911 hang up” unfolded.

A screenshot of officer-worn body camera footage released by the Evansville Police Department showing an officer-involved shooting that occurred just after 10:40 a.m. on December 16, 2022, in the 1300 block of North Third Avenue.

Merriss said the fatal shooting occurred just after 10:40 a.m. inside a residence in the 1300 block of North Third Avenue. The Courier & Press is withholding its own release of the body camera footage until authorities publicly identify the deceased man.

The incident began when the man called 911. In the call obtained by Courier & Press, dispatchers struggle to understand the man, who speaks primarily in Spanish. At one point, the dispatcher believed he had cryptically said “they’re killing people.”

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