Prosecutor: Review finds officers were justified in deadly Muncie police action shooting

Indianapolis Area Crime

MUNCIE, Ind. — A review found that police were justified in shooting a Kansas man who led officers on a pair of chases in which he fired shots at officers and civilians.

Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman released the results of his office’s review of the events surrounding the shooting of 28-year-old Jonathan Levi Allen on March 3. Allen died on March 10 after being shot in the head.

Allen led police on a lengthy pursuit and had threatened to shoot himself and the passenger in his car, police said. The chase ended when a Muncie police officer shot Allen in the head.

Hoffman said the two officers who shot Allen “unquestionably and without a doubt did so in self-defense and in the defense of others.”

Hoffman noted that Allen fired at police officers and civilians, and endangered lives by driving erratically in and out of traffic.

The incident started after police received a report of shots fired in a northeast side neighborhood on March 3. During a confrontation with officers, Allen threatened to shoot himself and then sped off in his Blazer.

Police ended the chase over safety concerns, with Hoffman writing that Allen swerved “in and out of school buses” on State Road 3.

After the pursuit was terminated, Allen’s Blazer was spotted; it appeared the SUV was stuck in a field near Smithfield Pike and C.R. 400 E.

A woman was in the Blazer with Allen. When contacted by police, Allen said he “was not stopping because he did not want to go to jail,” adding that officers “were going to have to kill him or he would kill himself.” He also threatened to shoot the woman.

The Blazer broke free of the mud, leading to another chase. During the pursuit, police said Allen fired shots at deputies—striking a patrol car—and then drove into oncoming traffic as he tried to get away.

He also fired shots at a police officer in Selma and two officers who were pursuing him near Central High School, Hoffman said.

In addition, Allen also shot at two civilians on the sidewalk by the American Legion in Selma, Hoffman said, although Allen didn’t hit anyone.

Allen’s Blazer eventually stopped in the 800 block of West Centennial Avenue after an officer shot him in the head with a rifle.

After being shot, Allen struggled with officers before being placed in an ambulance. He was taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, where he later died from his wounds.

State police investigators found a loaded sawed-off shotgun and a 9mm handgun in the Blazer.

When Allen was shot, he was headed toward Ball State University and “its densely populated surrounding neighborhoods,” Hoffman wrote.

“Allen presented an immediate, clear and present danger to the general public as well as law enforcement,” Hoffman wrote in his review.

Hoffman also noted that Allen had open warrants in Kansas and Muncie.

“The evidence demonstrates that the police officers who shot at Jonathan Levi Allen unquestionably and without a doubt did so in self-defense and in the defense of others,” Hoffman concluded.

“Jonathan Levi Allen was a menace to society and posed a substantial clear and present danger to the police officers as well as the public at large.”

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