Police say officers shot man who was threatening personnel at Evansville Regional Airport

Ryan Reynolds Houston Harwood
Evansville Courier & Press

EVANSVILLE − Police shot and injured a man who they said had threatened Evansville Regional Airport with a knife in the early morning hours Saturday.

The man, whose identity has not been released by police, had a 4-inch knife and was using it to tear up furniture at the airport lobby, according to a news release from the Evansville Police Department. The incident was reported to police at 12:22 a.m. Saturday.

The man was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition and still receiving treatment as of 7 a.m. Saturday, according to an Evansville Police Department spokeswoman. No police officers were injured.

Officers from the EPD, Indiana State Police and Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office all responded to the airport. A negotiator from the sheriff's office "attempted to gain rapport with the suspect" for about 15 minutes. The news release said the man was "upset about his status in Evansville and wanted to go back to his country."

Officers repeatedly told the man to put down the knife, and on several occasions "the suspect yelled at officers to just shoot him." At one point the man put the knife to his head and made a "stabbing motion," according to the news release.

Officers opened fire on the man after he "jumped out of his seat and aggressively moved towards officers with the knife in hand." Three EPD officers fired their weapons, as did members of the sheriff's office and Indiana State Police.

An Evansville Police Department summary of the incident noted that with all three agencies on scene, "lethal force and less lethal force were utilized at the same time."

The EPD said its officers were taken to a hospital for a blood draw and will receive counseling, per department protocol. They'll also be placed on leave as the shooting is investigated, which is also department policy.