Lawrenceburg Officer Justified In Using Deadly Force At Domestic Disturbance In 2020

The incident took place at Summit Pointe Apartments in October.

Photo by Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A Lawrenceburg Police officer was justified in his use of self-defense in an officer-involved shooting in October of 2020.

After reviewing the applicable Indiana Code and completed investigation from Indiana State Police, Dearborn County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens found that officer Garrett Schmaltz acted properly in self-defense of himself and appropriately performed his official duties as a police officer in the shooting death of Brandon Evans.

Lawrenceburg Police were called to a domestic disturbance at Summit Pointe Apartments on October 24, 2020.

The investigation showed that Officer Schmaltz was the first to arrive.

Upon arrival, Officer Schmaltz saw a naked man wielding a kitchen knife emerge from one of the apartment buildings and began to pursue him.

The man, later identified as Brandon Evans, ran towards Officer Schmaltz, who instructed Evans to drop the knife on multiple occasions.

Evans stated, “you’re going to have to ******* kill me.”

Officer Schmaltz continued to instruct Evans to drop the weapon. When Evans was 10-15 feet away and still holding the knife, Schmaltz fire six shots.

Schmaltz and medical personnel attempted to resuscitate Evans, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Further investigation found that Staci Coyne was the victim of multiple stab wounds. She was found deceased in one of the apartment units. A dog was also located with a stab wound in the leg.

Investigators say Evans and Coyne had been in a relationship since January 2020 and lived together at the complex.

Under Indiana law, citizens “have the right to defend themselves and third parties from physical harm and crime.” Furthermore, deadly force is justified if it is reasonably believed to be necessary in order to prevent serious bodily injury. This right is extended to police officers. In this case, the State found that Officer Schmaltz provided repeat warnings to Evans prior to using deadly force. 

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