The Washington Times-Herald

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September 8, 2008

1 dead in shooting

Early Monday, state police were called to investigate a police action shooting on Grand Avenue that resulted in the death of a Washington man.

Preliminary investigation revealed that at 12:11 a.m., the Washington City Police Department responded to a 911 report of a possible domestic situation at 2006 Grand Ave. Upon arrival, officers encountered Stephen T. Lee, 42, in the back yard with what appeared to be a shotgun. When ordered by the officers to drop the gun, Lee fired the gun, causing officers to return fire.

Officers responding included Sgt. Ritchie Tolliver, Sgt, Steve Mize and Patrolman Craig Cox. Washington Police Chief Steve Riney said the officers will be placed on paid administrative leave until the state police investigation is complete, then they should be able to come back to work.

“This is an unfortunate situation,” said Riney. “As law enforcement officers, the last thing we want to do is to take a life, but we know that at some point in our careers a situation may cause us to have to do that, and this was one of those situations.”

State police detectives and crime scene investigators responded to the scene to handle the investigation and to process the scene. The gun that Lee fired turned out to be a camouflaged muzzle loading rifle. State police Detective Dana Miller is in charge of the investigation.

Lee was transported to the Daviess County Hospital where he was pronounced dead by the Daviess County Coroner’s Office. All three police officers involved in the shooting were unharmed.

Neighbor Larry Gilley said he and his wife heard the shots but didn’t see anything unusual outside, so he went to get ready for bed. Then, his wife saw flashing lights, and they realized something serious had happened.

He said he would expect a police shooting to take place in a large city, “not in your own neighborhood.”

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