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Prosecutor won't charge bystander who shot man holding up clerk

Police say a man was fatally shot early Thursday while trying to rob a South Bend gas station, but the customer who shot him won’t be charged with a crime.

Shortly before 1 a.m. police responded to a reported robbery at the Phillips 66 station in the 4000 block of Western Avenue. Officers arrived to find 24-year-old Glen Brooks suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Brooks was pronounced dead at the scene.

After interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video, police and prosecutors determined that Brooks had tried robbing the clerk at gunpoint. The clerk resisted, the two got into a struggle, and an armed bystander shot Brooks. Brooks then left the store and collapsed a short distance away.

Prosecutor Ken Cotter decided charges against the bystander who shot Brooks could not be supported by Indiana law. Cotter and Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski released a joint statement citing an Indiana law that says, “A person is justified in using reasonable force against any other person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force.”

Their statement continues, “Here, a reasonable person would have been justified in using deadly force due to a reasonable fear of imminent death or significant bodily injury.”

Officials said they won’t release the shooter’s name because they aren’t being charged.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).