UPDATE: Following an investigation, the prosecutor’s office determined the officer acted reasonably and in self-defense when he shot Shelly L. Haendiges. No criminal charges will be brought against the officer involved.
KOKOMO, Ind. (June 15, 2015)-- Just days after Friday's shooting inside Casey's General Store in Kokomo, officers are trying to wrap their heads around what led a 17-year-old girl to rob the store at gunpoint.
"The officer identified himself and ordered the female to drop the weapon at which time the female pointed the weapon at the officer. The officer then fired two shots," said Major Brian Seldon with the Kokomo Police Department.
A 10-year Kokomo police veteran, Officer Roy Smith, was put in a position to save his life and the people who witnessed the tragedy.
"We have a split second decision to make out here on the street therefore if we feel the threat is toward the officer or threat toward a witness or individual we have to make a decision whether to use deadly force or not," said Seldon.
Police have not identified the teenage robber because she's a minor. This case has taken several turns since Friday. Investigators discovered the weapon was a CO2 powered semi automatic handgun that's similar to a pellet gun. Officers say those weapons resemble real guns and can also cause bodily harm.
"We can't tell whether it's a real weapon or a fake weapon. But if you have someone in the store threatening to rob the store demanding cash and we have witnesses," said Seldon.
The case grew even more surreal with a 911 caller telling dispatch what was happening step by step leading up to the robbery.
"From our investigation they were following the individual to the store as this individual was preparing to rob the convenience store."
Kokomo officers do wear body cameras. Investigators are looking into whether Smith was wearing a body camera and if it was operating during the time of the shooting. Smith has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Once the investigation is complete, it will be handed over to the Howard County Prosecutor's Office.