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Prosector says shooting justified

March 9, 2012

PLYMOUTH — Marshall County Prosecuting Attorney David R. Holmes determined that there was justification in the police shooting that resulted in the death of Mark S. Albright, 62, at 8:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23.
Consequently, no criminal charges will be filed against any officer involved in the incident.
The results of an extensive investigation by the Indiana State Police establish that an Argos Police officer received a telephone call about a possible intoxicated driver with a description of the vehicle as a red Dodge pickup truck.
Almost immediately after the cell phone call, the officer reported to see the truck move in a frequently erratic manner by driving left of the center line and right of the fog line north bound on Michigan Street at 7:50 p.m.
The officer then initiated a traffic stop, and the truck slowed. It’d was pulling off to the right side of the road, only to suddenly drive away at a high rate of speed.
A police pursuit of the suspected intoxicated driver began northbound from Argos on Michigan Road and onto U.S. 31. Speeds of the vehicle exceeded 100 miles per hour.
The pursuit continued on U.S. 31 north, then U.S. 30 east, stopping at the light at King Road. The truck then rammed an Argos Police vehicle at the beginning of a u-turn maneuver in which Albright then headed west on U.S. 30, back onto the U.S. 31 interchange. He immediately returned to U.S. 30 westbound in the eastbound lanes forcing other vehicles to take drastic evasive moves to avoid a collision, the police report states.
The pickup crossed the median to the westbound lanes and then left U.S. 30 at the S.R. 17 exit, north on Michigan Road. Eventually the truck left Michigan Road and traveled at a high rate of speed on numerous county roads in a circular route in the Tyner area, traveling a short distance on U.S. 6 east. Turning south on Quince Road, Albright stopped near the intersection with Roy Street.
In total the pursuit covered over 36 miles, with officers engaged from the Marshall County Police Department, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Argos Police Department and the Walkerton Police Department.
The driver — the only occupant — exited the truck and walked into an open area as several law enforcement officers converged at the location.
Three officers, two from the Marshall County Police Department and one from the Argos Police Department, approached Albright, whose back was to the officers, with the intent to safely apprehend him.
Two officers had Tasers drawn, and none of the officers had their service weapons drawn. After being ordered to stop numerous times but refusing, the individual turned with an outstretched arm and fired two shots from a handgun directly at the officers. All three officers took evasive action. Two of the three officers returned fire striking the individual multiple times.
Albright, residing on Plymouth-LaPorte Trail, Plymouth, died from his wounds. It has been determined his Blood Alcohol Content was .133 percent.
The handgun recovered at the scene was identified as the same handgun Albright possessed in a previous case in 2004 in which he was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and carrying a handgun without a license. Also recovered at the scene was one of the bullets discharged at the officers by the decedent.
“The investigation by the Indiana State Police was thorough, extensive, and professional” Holmes said. “There is no doubt that the decedent intended to do serious injury, perhaps even death, to the officers at the scene by his discharge of a handgun directly at them. It is my judgment that the officers were fully justified in returning fire in self defense. Accordingly, there will be no actions by this office against any of the officers involved. I was very pleased and impressed with the professional manner in which all of the departments conducted themselves in protecting the public. I consider the matter closed.”

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