Prosecutor: Deputy justified in shooting death of Jennings fugitive
The Jennings County prosecutor says a deputy was justified in using lethal force and no charges are warranted after an armed fugitive was shot and killed in February.
According to a report issued by Jennings County prosecutor Brian Belding, 29-year-old Devin Lark was shot and killed in a confrontation with deputies on Feb. 3rd. Deputy Cody Low fired the shot that killed Lark as the two wrestled for control of a gun carried by the suspect.
Lark had been convicted on February 2nd of charges including burglary, auto theft, theft and battery resulting in bodily injury but did not show up to court for his trial. An arrest warrant was issued for him and he also had an arrest warrant out of Clark County.
Deputies received word from informants that Lark was armed and planned to shoot it out with police. The Jennings County SWAT team was called out to take Lark into custody and Deputy Low accompanied the team, along with his police dog Axel.
Lark was found outside a barn on West County Road 175N and ran from officers. After warnings, Low sent Axel in to apprehend the suspect and the dog brought Lark to the ground. But the deputy saw a gun in Lark’s hand. A struggle for the gun began with Low warning Lark that he was going to get killed if he did not let go of the gun. Lark reportedly said “Kill me” repeatedly and the deputy fired his department handgun striking Lark in the chest and killing him.
The entire encounter lasted 21 seconds from the deputy getting out of his vehicle to the shooting.
An autopsy revealed that Lark had drugs in his system including methamphetamine, THC and fentanyl. The cause of death was the gunshot wound.
The investigation was conducted by Indiana State Police and included video from body cameras from Low and from Sheriff Kenny Freeman, who was right behind the deputy.