One dead in police-involved shooting

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Carey Huls has confirmed a Salem Police Officer was involved in a shooting that left one suspect dead near the Washington County Fairgrounds. No officers were injured.


At a press conference held near the scene just before 5 p.m., Salem Police PIO Carey Huls informed us a citizen reported a suspicious individual near some equipment at the base of the hill at the fairgrounds, possibly messing with equipment located near the treeline along the creek at around 2 p.m. this afternoon. Two Salem Police officers responded to the scene and shots were fired. The suspect, a man, was killed at Brock Creek, but neither officer was injured.

The Indiana State Police is continuing their investigation. Huls said it's unlikely the suspect or officers will be identified before morning. The next of kin of the suspect has yet to be notified.

Huls said officer-involved shootings happen "too often."

"No officer wants to be in this situation at all," he said. "I've been in my position since January and I believe this will be my fourth officer-involved shooting to cover. Most officers go their whole career without ever needing to use their weapon, but sometimes it does happen and they have to protect themselves and the public … Any officer I've had to go through this with says it's a very emotional time, naturally."

Huls said he believes the officer involved will be placed on paid administrative leave.

"You have to give them time to get their wits about them and let the investigation go on," he said.

Huls said he wasn't aware yet if there were any witnesses to the shooting, but if so, they will be interviewed during the course of the investigation.

Crime scene technicians are currently at the scene and gathering evidence.

"We're very thorough on anything like this, naturally, so if there's any footage we can look at, that will all be part of the investigation," said Huls.

Huls said he hadn't been back to see the scene for himself as investigators try to keep the scene as pristine as possible.

Huls said more information will likely be released sometime Thursday morning. We will be updating this story as more information becomes available.



Officers eventually located the subject, now identified as Mark A. Naugle, 53, Scottsburg, Indiana, standing in the creek which borders the property. During the encounter, Naugle approached the officers brandishing a hammer and refused repeated commands to drop the hammer and stop approaching, prompting at least one Salem police officer to fire their weapon, striking and killing Naugle.

Both police officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is customary in police-involved shootings.

This investigation is ongoing, including an autopsy, and more information will be released as it becomes available.   Once the preliminary investigation has been completed, all information will be turned over to the Washington County Prosecutor for review.  

Indiana State Police units were assisted by the Salem City Police Department, The Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Washington County EMS, and the Washington County Coroner's Office.


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