South Bend officer will not be charged in Western Ave. fatal shooting

Officer James Dennin of the South Bend Police Department. (Photo supplied/South Bend Police Department)

St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter will not be charging a South Bend police officer who shot and killed a suspect Thursday.

South Bend officer Jim Dennin shot Rafael Ramirez twice after responding to a report of an unwanted person.

Police were sent to the apartment complex on West Western Avenue near Olive because Ramirez was allegedly threatening people with knives. Ramirez was shot twice and died at a hospital later.

Prosecutor Ken Cotter believes Dennin acted in self defense. Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett agreed, saying the officer had a choice: live or die.

Officer Dennin was not hurt. Dennin, Sgt. Kevin Gibbons and officer Ernesto Ramirez are on routine administrative leave.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg also weighed in on the shooting.

“We are very concerned any time we learn of a shooting involving a South Bend officer,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “I appreciate the thoroughness of the outside investigation, which determined that the officer used lethal force in self-defense and as a last resort. I am thankful that Officer Dennin did not sustain any injuries. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident and their families.”

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