Elkhart County juvenile shot by railroad officer expected to be released from hospital Tuesday

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("Railroad Crossing" by Brad Clinesmith, CC BY-SA 2.0)

More information about an officer-involved shooting in Elkhart County was released Tuesday.

Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker held a press conference to update reporters on the 13-year-old male juvenile that was shot near Osceola during a police pursuit.

Becker says officers on County Road 100 near County Road 20 had pursued the juvenile into a private yard.

“At that point in time, these officers were attempting to block that vehicle from getting back out into the public roadways,” Becker said. “One of the officers engaged in discharging his service weapon at the driver of the vehicle.”

The juvenile was shot in the shoulder by a Norfolk Southern police officer who used to work for the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department. Despite being injured, Becker says the juvenile tried to get out of the vehicle, but was restrained by officers. He was still in the hospital as of Tuesday morning, but was expected to be released by Tuesday afternoon. When he’s released, he’s expected to be arrested by Indiana State Police, and his case is expected to start in juvenile court.

Indiana State Police is also investigating the circumstances that led to the shooting. Becker says “they are nowhere near” the point of determining whether the shooting was justified.

The Norfolk Southern Railroad has maintained a police force since before the Southern Railway and Norfolk & Southern Railway formed in the late 1800s. Officers have full police powers in Indiana, are authorized to carry weapons, and their jurisdiction crosses state lines, meaning it has some federal authority. Becker says the railroad officer got involved because the pursuit passed near the railway.

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