BROWNSTOWN — Two Brownstown police officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing following a deadly shooting near the town police station last month.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant, in a statement released by the Indiana State Police, said Brownstown police Chief Tom Hanner and Assistant Chief Joe Kelly "lawfully used deadly force against Barry Alan Rucker in an act of self-defense."
Rucker, 53, of Brownstown, was shot outside the Brownstown Police Department on April 3 after producing a handgun as officers were responding to a domestic dispute.
According to the prosecutor's statement, a woman took her daughter to school in Brownstown and then drove away in her pickup truck. When she reached behind the seat she felt and then saw Rucker, who was hiding in the back of the truck. The woman had previously been in a relationship with Rucker but the relationship ended in 2018 after Rucker allegedly threatened her with a machete.
Police said Rucker pulled out a handgun and told the woman to drive into the country. The woman drove to the Brownstown police station and inside to get help. According to the prosecutor's statement, the only two officers on duty — Hanner and Kelly — were assisting with traffic at the local schools.
According to the prosecutor's account, Rucker followed the woman into the police station, drug her outside and threatened to kill her. A passerby witness the struggle, called 911 and reported the man had a gun. The officers used Tasers on Rucker, however, he was not incapacitated and pointed the handgun at Hanner. The officers told Rucker repeatedly to drop his weapon but Rucker did not comply, police said.
Both Hanner and Kelly fired shots at Rucker, who was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
According to the prosecutor's statement, the autopsy concluded that Rucker died of multiple gunshot wounds. The autopsy also found Rucker's blood contained methamphetamine and Fentanyl.