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Prosecutor finds cops' deadly force after chase was justified

Prosecutors won’t charge two police officers for fatally shooting an Elkhart man in December in Marshall County, determining the shooting was justified.

An Indiana State Police investigation found that 54-year-old suspect Johnny Wood had pointed a gun at an officer before police fatally shot him on Christmas Eve.

As a result, Marshall County Prosecutor E. Nelson Chipman Jr., after reviewing the officers’ body cam footage, has announced he won’t file criminal charges against St. Joseph County Sgt. Joseph Querciagrossa or Mishawaka Officer Anthony Stachowiak.

After the officers chased Wood from Granger to a foggy Marshall County field, they found him crouching in a ditch.

Stachowiak told Wood to show his hands, Wood yelled, “I’ve got bad knees!” then stood up and pointed a gun at Querciagrossa.

Both officers then opened fire, killing Wood with nine shots to the torso and thigh.

Chipman says the gun that Wood had pointed at the officer was inoperable because it was out of battery.

The officers and a police dog had found lying in the mud a loaded revolver with one spent cartridge.

The chase had started after Wood fired a shot at his ex-girlfriend and a man she was with outside a Roseland motel. Earlier that day he had been sending her threatening texts, including one that said, “why not just get revenge and then go out in a blaze of glory.”

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).