Starke County-Indiana State Police Detectives from the Lowell Post, at the request of Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin, are currently investigating a police action shooting involving a Starke County officer. All officers involved were not injured; however, the suspect sustained one gunshot wound and was transported by ambulance to North Judson High School, and was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with non-life threatening injuries.
Preliminary investigation by Detective Brian McCall revealed, at approximately 11:45 a.m., Starke County Sheriff’s Department went to 5023W 800S, North Judson, in rural Starke County, for a report of a domestic disturbance. Starke County Sheriff’s deputies and a North Judson police officer encountered the suspect, Richard Joseph Benwell, 29 of North Judson, as he came out of the residence.
Benwell refused to follow officer’s commands and attempted to go back inside the house when he was stopped. A fight ensued. One of the officer’s gun discharged twice during the struggle, hitting no one. Benwell was also tased numerous times to no avail. He was then shot once and an ambulance was immediately called to the residence.
At the conclusion of this investigation, all reports will be submitted to the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office for a full review. This could take weeks.
The names of the officers involved will be released in a few days by their respective departments.