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Gunman wounded in Friday night incident

September 19, 2011

Scene of Friday shooting incident

    A highly unusual outdoor police standoff in downtown Decatur late Friday night ended when an Indiana State Police trooper shot an armed man from Berne.
    Jerry L. Nusbaum, 67, was shot in the right arm and upper chest and was listed in critical condition at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, This morning, a Parkview spokeswoman said Nusbaum is not in the hospital directory. (Under federal privacy laws, if a patient "opts out" of the directory, the hospital can only say that the patient is not listed.)
    After the shooting by one of three Adams County members of the ISP District 22 Emergency Response Team (ERT). Nusbaum was taken by Adams County Emergency Medical Service to Adams Memorial Hospital, then was flown by the Samaritan helicopter to Parkview.
    This morning, Decatur Police Chief Ken Ketzler said Nusbaum has been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. It is not known if he was on or off medication when the incident occurred.
    A report from the state police says Nusbaum was "waving a handgun and speaking in an erratic and angry manner" when he was spotted on Third St. behind two mailboxes and a Daily Democrat paper box in front of the Adams Superior Court building and across the street from the Decatur Post Office.
    The first person to see him, at around 9:30 p.m., just happened to be an off-duty city policeman, Shay Beaver, who was driving a vehicle on Third St. Today, Ketzler said Beaver noticed the man and considered him suspicious, although Nusbaum did not display the handgun at first.
    At some point, Nusbaum showed his handgun and the ISP report states that Beaver "tried to convince Nusbaum to surrender the gun, but to no avail. As the conversation continued, Nusbaum reportedly became more agitated. While the Decatur officer was speaking with Nusbaum, backup officers arrived to assist."
    Ketzler said Beaver first called the police station on his cell phone to report a suspicious person and the gun was first seen after another city officer or two had arrived on the scene.
    The ISP report noted that approximately 10 minutes after the first uniformed officer arrived, Nusbaum allegedly raised his gun towards police officers. Prior to that, Nusbaum had been waving the gun in the air and apparently had not pointed it at anyone.
    When the gun was pointed at one of the officers, the state trooper fired one shot at around 10 p.m. Ketzler said the ERT members were in charge of making the appropriate response.
    The police chief added that the incident was handled well by all the officers involved, which included three from the Decatur department, two from the Adams County Sheriff's Department, and three from the state police.
    The police had Nusbaum surrounded so he could not get away and Ketzler said Nusbaum made no attempt to get in his car, which was parked nearby on Third St., or to enter any building.
    Ketzler also said this is the first time he can recall a police officer in Adams County shooting someone since city patrolman, now detective, Leonard Corral shot a man who had taken a shot at him on the northwest side of town perhaps seven or eight years ago.
    The police chief added that the scene was closed off for investigation until about 3 a.m. Saturday and reports were written by the officers until around 5 a.m.
    The state police will present evidence to Adams County Prosecutor Chris Harvey for potential prosecution of Nusbaum.
    The ISP trooper who fired the shot has been given administrative duties and will not return to road patrols until after the department's standard internal investigation of the shooting is concluded.

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