According to Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Carey Huls, the Salem Police Department had received a call from a citizen about a ‘suspicious person’ at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
An unnamed male suspect was shot and killed today by a Salem Police Officer while investigating this “suspicious” person.
Not many details have been released, but WSLM has learned that two SPD officers responded.
Hulls did not name them or which one shot the suspect.
He said this afternoon that when the officers arrived, the person was not immediately located.
“When officers arrived they didn’t initially locate him. They did locate him along the creek. At some point, the officer did feel the need to fear for his life,” said Huls.
“[He] had to use his weapon and to fire an indeterminate amount of shots. The subject was struck and killed. So at this time, we know we have a male subject pronounced dead at the scene by the Washington County Coroner’s officer,” Huls said.
The area taped off by police is the rear “pit” area of the Fairgrounds race track, known as Thunder Valley Raceway.
Huls noted that police were still on the scene at 3p. The Coroner, Prosecutor Dustin Houchin and Sheriff Brent Miller were on scene along with other officers.
Huls said he did not know how many shots were fired or if more than one officer fired shots.
Huls said there was no information on where the suspect was from or who reported him to the police.
There was not a vehicle nearby belonging to the suspect.
“The only information I know is [the caller] observed the individual. For whatever reason the individual was suspicious and they needed to call the police. [They] believed the police needed to be called based on the subject’s actions that he saw at that time,” said Huls.
The caller has not been identified.
The Salem Police Department referred questions to ISP regarding the time of the original call and the time the police were dispatched out to investigate.
ISP did not have information on those questions.
The Washington County EMS was toned out at 1:59p to respond to the shooting at the fairgrounds.
“It’s not uncommon to see kids walking along the streets,” Huls noted. “There is a creek back there…..it is rural but at the same time it’s not unusual to see someone walking back there.”
According to Steve Leonard, manager of Thunder Valley Raceway, it doesn’t appear anything at this point has been stolen.
He did say there was a theft last year at the track.
Huls said he also did not know if Salem Police Department used body cams.