After Preliminary Investigation, EPD Deems Use of Force as 'Reasonable'

Published 04/23 2014 07:20PM

Updated 04/23 2014 07:32PM

For the second time this month, the Evansville Police Deparment is looking into what led up to an officer-involved shooting. After it's preliminary investigation, investigators believe the officers acted responsibly and were reasonable in their use of force.

Terry Lee Daugherty, 44, remains in the hospital after officers shot him in the chest Tuesday night. The incident happened near Spring St. and Margybeth Ave. Officers were responding to a domestic violence run in which the caller, his estranged wife, stated Daughtery threatened to come over and 'cut her throat' police said. The caller and Daughtery have a child together, police said.

When officers arrived, they spotted Daughtery near the home, holding two large knives, according to police. After a brief foot chase, Daughtery refused to drop the knives and at one point told officers they would have to shoot him, according to police.

One of the two officers fired one shot, hitting Daughtery in the chest. The whole incident lasted less than a minute, police said.

Exactly a week prior to the incident, Daughtery was arrested for felony domestic battery and strangulation charges. Daughtery allegedly choked his estranged wife to the point she blacked out, according to an affidavit. Daughtery later posted bond and had a no-contact order filed against him.

At this point, police believe the two officers acted responsibly and the use of force was reasonable, according to Sgt. Jason Cullum.

"A lot of people think that we have to try a taser first if somebody has a knife and that's absolutely false," Sgt. Cullum said. "First and foremost, someone can cover the distance of 21 feet in one second. If you have a taser in your hand it doesn't work the way you want it to work to, you're stabbed. Even if you drop it on the ground, you don't have the time to put it on the ground, get your gun out, and hit a moving target that is coming at you with a knife."

The two officers involved in the incident remain on a 72 hour department-required leave. They have already provided one statement to investigators and will likely provide the second statement this weekend, Sgt. Cullum said.

Meanwhile, medical debris and a large pool of dried blood still remains on the driveway where Daughtery was shot. The debris includes latex gloves, medical tape and a spent saline pouch  The homeowners are family members of Daughtery, police said.

"This is the debris the paramedics left after treating Terry for his wounds," one family member said. "It's all within five feet of my great niece's bicycles and strollers. We want to know who is supposed to clean this stuff up. The kids are supposed to see all this? They were traumatized enough with everything that happened last night. They don't need to see the aftermath."

Immediately after the shooting, the two officers began administering first aid, police said. After paramedics stabilized Daughtery, they took him to the hospital for surgery. He is expected to survive although his exact condition is unknown.

"This gentleman had a lot of opportunity to make different choices," Sgt. Cullum said. "He was arrested for domestic violence against the same woman he was threatening last night. He strangled her unconscious and beat her in front of their child. He was given an opportunity to be released on bond but part of that was a no-contact order. He could have followed that. He chose to come over there and create last night's incidents."

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