EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — The Evansville Police Department is releasing new information in the officer involved shooting on Tuesday, June 2. It happened in the 2900 block of Saint James Boulevard near Ree Street.
Authorities say Officer Ryan Eagleson and Officer Tyler Maier responded to a call around 8:15 p.m. about a man allegedly threatening to light his mother’s home on fire and carrying a knife. Shortly after they arrived on scene, the officers found 35-year-old Donald Woosley Jr. holding a knife and a gas can. Woosley began approaching officers and the officers told him to drop the knife.
“I was out here with my headphones on and I thought it was a firecracker and I thought ‘Okay, let me go check it out,” Tia Lewis says she was outside playing basketball when she heard Officer Eagleson discharge his weapon striking Woosley twice.
“I looked and I saw the cop and I’m like ‘Okay I got to go inside and let mom know.’ It was scary,” said Lewis.
Tia’s mother tells us Tia and her brother Austin had just walked through the intersection where the shooting happened only minutes prior.
“I was more concerned of who was hurt and what all had happened. When I heard the gunshots I kinda ran in the house and made sure everyone knew what was going on and that we were all okay,” said Austin Booker.
Officer Eagleson fired his weapon seven times, hitting Woosley in the arm and stomach.
“He was given several verbal commands to drop the knife and he refused. He started approaching the officers. The officers actually backed up to give him some space and continued with the verbal commands to drop the knife and he refused to do so,” said EPD PIO Sgt. Nick Winsett. “We don’t have a round count, we don’t count our rounds and how many we should fire in certain situations. We’re trained to fire our weapons until the treat has been stopped.”
EPD says officers on scene did administer aid to Woosley. Woosley was later taken to the hospital for treatment for his gunshot wounds and he is expected to survive his injuries.
Woosley is charged with intimidation with a deadly weapon, a level five felony. Evansville Police say officers were wearing body cams at the time and the footage is being reviewed as a part of the investigation. It is expected to be released later this week.
(This story was originally published on June 3, 2020)