SBPD: "[Phillips 66] shooting constituted a justifiable homicide"

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Police Department has determined the shooting that left one man dead on Thursday (Dec. 21) morning at the Phillips 66 on Western Avenue was a justifiable homicide, according to Indiana law. 

Officers say that just before 1 a.m. they were called to a robbery in progress at the gas station. 

"When they arrived, officers located a person later identified as Glen Brooks, 24 years old, near the gas station. Mr. Brooks was suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was pronounced deceased at the scene," SBPD Media Liaison Ashley O'Chap stated.

"Officers interviewed a number of witnesses, including several patrons and the clerk of the Phillips 66. They advised that a person they did not know (later identified as Mr. Brooks) entered the gas station with a handgun and was attempting to rob it at gunpoint. All of the witnesses stated that Mr. Brooks then got into a struggle with the clerk. At that point, an armed concerned citizen interceded on behalf of the station clerk. During the course of the attempted robbery, the concerned citizen discharged his firearm, striking Mr. Brooks. Mr. Brooks then fled the gas station and collapsed a short distance away."

Police say video from the gas station confirmed witness reports.

"While an autopsy will be conducted, it was apparent that Mr. Brook’s cause of death was the gunshot wound. It is clear that Mr. Brooks death is a Homicide. Indiana Law defines Homicide as 'death at the hands of another,'" O'Chap said. " However, it does not determine whether that homicide was justified. The witnesses and physical, video and forensic evidence establish that the situation that led to the shooting was brought about by Mr. Brooks, and his death was a direct result of those actions."

I.C. 35-41-3-2(c) states "A person is justified in using reasonable force against any other person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person: (1) is justified in using deadly force; and (2) does not have a duty to retreat; if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary."

Police say that in order to file any criminal charges, the state would have to disprove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that the concerned citizen was 1) honestly and 2) reasonably in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or death to himself or others.

"Here, a reasonable person would have been justified in using deadly force due to a reasonable fear of imminent death or significant bodily injury," O'Chap said. "Because, based upon the law and these facts, the state cannot disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, no charges will be filed for the discharge of the concerned citizen’s firearm."

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