SUMMARY: Indianapolis, yesterday. A state troopers house was robbed over Thanksgiving, and his service weapon stolen. The officer was home yesterday, when someone tried to kick in his front door. The policemen shot and killed him.
December 20, 2005
Off-duty trooper kills man
He was trying to kick in front door of officer's home, police say
By Kevin O'Neal
The off-duty Indiana State Police officer who shot and killed a man he says was trying to kick in his front door Monday had been burglarized last month, investigators said.
Trooper Joel D. Wilson, 39, shot Theodore Hixenbaugh, 22, Indianapolis, through the door of Wilson's Far-Eastside home.
The shooting was reported around 11:40 a.m. in the 2100 block of Autumn Creek Drive. State Police said the incident started when someone knocked on Wilson's door.
"Trooper Wilson was able to look from a vantage point not visible by the suspect, to see that someone was at his door," said First Sgt. David Bursten, a State Police spokesman. "He didn't recognize the person, didn't know what he wanted or needed."
The man at the front door stopped knocking and reportedly started to kick the door. A short time later, Wilson fired two shots from his service weapon through the door. One hit Hixenbaugh, who was pronounced dead at Wishard Memorial Hospital at 12:11 p.m. Monday.
Bursten said he had not yet heard from investigators on whether Wilson had given any sort of warning, or identified himself as a police officer before firing the shots.
Police records show Hixenbaugh has been arrested several times for domestic disturbances, larcenies, fraud, residential entry and criminal confinement. Records from the Indiana Department of Correction show that Hixenbaugh had served sentences for forgery and criminal confinement.
Hixenbaugh's family declined to comment on the shooting Monday night.
While the shooting happened in the sheriff's service area, the case is being investigated by State Police. Bursten said State Police also cover the Far-Eastside area near the Marion-Hancock county line.
Sheriff's Department Spokesman Phil Burton said Monday night that State Police were taking the lead because one of their officers was involved.
State Police are going to handle this case as they would any shooting or homicide, Bursten said, but there will be an internal affairs probe. Wilson was expected to return to duty at the Indianapolis post today, at which time a decision would be made on whether he will resume regular patrol duties.
Troopers were not sure if the burglary at Wilson's home Thanksgiving Day -- in which his service weapon was stolen -- had any connection to the shooting Monday.
Two suspects in the earlier case were caught later Thanksgiving Day after Marion County Sheriff's deputies were sent to check a report of a residence burglary a couple of miles north in the 4100 block of Canapple Drive. Two vehicles fled from the residence, and deputies chased them. Both vehicles crashed, and the drivers were arrested.
Deputies found a .40-caliber Beretta handgun after searching Perrin Lee Chandler, 19. They identified the weapon as Wilson's gun by an ISP stamp on the handgrip.
The second person arrested after the chases and crashes was Jarad McGee, 17, arrested on charges of auto theft, resisting law enforcement, and marijuana possession.
What? he should have ran into his room and locked the door until help arrived like the news tells you to do.
Shoot through a door at someone you don't know? Is this what they teach at the ISP Police Academy?
Sorry, I should have been more specific. Anyone who tries to:
1. kick down the door of a home
2. that they probably know is the residence of a state trooper
3. while that trooper is home
4. in broad daylight
is too stupid to be allowed to live.
Darwin at work.
Boy, I don't think I could defend that in court.
Good thing he's a cop
It was sarcasm.
In Illinois, you can use deadly force (shoot) if someone is attempting a "violent or tumultous" entry into your home. I would think Indiana has a similar law. Every person has a right to defent their home.