No charges in fatal shooting of man who struggled with off-duty officer

Updated: May. 3, 2017 at 1:25 PM EDT
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(FOX19 Now/file)
(FOX19 Now/file)

OHIO COUNTY, IND (FOX19) - A witness who shot a man who was involved in a physical altercation with an off-duty Indiana Conservation Officer will not face criminal charges.

The incident happened Feb. 20, after the officer responded to a county dispatch referencing a suspicious person and vehicle in the 8300 block of State Route 56 between Rising Sun and Aberdeen, according to state police.

"The caller stated there was a very disheveled young male in a pickup truck partially parked in the caller's driveway, yet obstructing a lane of travel on SR 56," reads a statement from Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Deddens.

Deddens said Officer Powell had just gotten off duty at noon and was still in his marked police vehicle.

Officials said he responded to find Justin Holland, 25, digging through his truck and acting erratic. He also appeared to be impaired.

Based on Holland's behavior, Officer Powell attempted to arrest him, but he reportedly resisted.

A struggle ensued along the roadway.

Witnesses told investigators Holland was overpowering Officer Powell, and one of the witnesses, fearing for the officer's safety, then shot Holland in the shoulder.

First aid was administered but Holland was later pronounced dead at Dearborn County Hospital.

State police said a search of Holland's vehicle revealed methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Toxicology results from his autopsy found meth, benzodiazepines, marijuana, methadone and dextromethorphan in his system, according to the prosecutor.

The name of the witness who shot Holland has not been released.

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