BATESVILLE—Ripley County Prosecutor Richard Hertel released new findings in regard to the fatal Batesville shooting of 32-year-old Joshua Evans that took place on Nov. 16, 2020.

Batesville Police Officers were called to the Evans' home on Bridlewood Trace Road around 8 a.m. on Nov. 16 to reports of the suspect acting irrationally and causing other occupants of the home to fear for their safety.
According to the factual summary released by Hertel, Sarah Evans, wife of Joshua, made the call to police and stated her husband was acting erratically and had a knife. Sarah continued to explain her husband had gone into the garage of their home where his gun safe was located. She stated she was in the home with her three young children.

Assistant Chief of Police Blake Roope was dispatched to the scene. When Roope arrived and approached the scene he observed the garage door closing. Roope was able to get Sarah and the three children out of the home safely.

Detective Jamie Straber of BPD arrived on the scene shortly after. Sarah was able to tell officers that there were “a lot” of guns in the safe, and that Joshua had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was very upset. Sarah also provided the officers with a keypad to gain access to the garage.

Roope then reached up with his left hand to enter the garage code when Joshua fired a shot from inside the garage, striking the garage door frame and causing shrapnel from the bullet hole to strike Roope in the left, lower bicep. Roope and Straber retreated back to safety behind their police cars on the street.

Several police agencies responded to the scene as Joshua barricaded himself in the garage and continued to fire rounds at officers. Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team members (ERT) members drove an ERT van to the inner perimeter of the scene. A certified sniper from the Greensburg Police Department positioned himself on the roof of the home across the street from the Evans' residence. According to officers on scene, Evans fired between 20-30 rounds during the approximate three hours he was barricaded in the garage.

Detective Loyd, a member of the ISP Hostage Crisis Negotiation team, arrived on scene at 8:55 a.m. Loyd attempted to call Joshua several times throughout the morning. Joshua answered one of the calls at 11:08 a.m. During this 27-minute phone call, Joshua told Loyd and other members of the HCN team they were going to have to come in and shoot him. Loyd heard gunshots through the phone at 11:17 a.m., and shortly after more gunshots and the sound of Joshua reloading and manipulating the firearm.
At 11:26 a.m., Joshua told members of the HCN team to, “Take the shot or I'm going to.” Joshua then began a countdown.

At 11:31 a.m., Joshua opened the side garage door and walked out. He had a black handgun in his right hand at his side. ERT members told Joshua several times to show his hands. Joshua then raised the gun and started walking towards ERT member, Master Trooper Eric Williams. Williams later told detectives the gun was pointed directly at him and he could see down the barrel. Three of four ERT members engaged and fired their weapons at Joshua. The GPD sniper also engaged and fired his weapon at Joshua.

Once Joshua was down, an ERT member started chest compressions and requested EMS. EMS arrived, and care was turned over to them. Evans was later pronounced dead at Margaret Mary Health in Batesville. Following an autopsy, the cause of death was determined as multiple rifle wounds to the torso and extremities.

In the legal analysis of the death of Joshua Evans, it states that at all times relevant to his death, the officers were both Indiana residents and police officers responding to a call for service in their official capacities. Because of this, they would be entitled to claim both a personal right to self-defense and the legal authority to use deadly force in the performance of their duties.
Regarding the officers' personal right to self-defense, the State has determined these officers had probable cause to believe that deadly force was necessary to either prevent serious bodily injury to a person or the commission of a forcible felony. Regarding the officers' use of deadly force in the performance of their official duties, the State has determined these officers had probable cause to effect an arrest of a person who posed a threat of serious bodily injury to the officers.

The State's findings that the officers acted within their personal right to self-defense and their legal authority to use deadly force in the performance of their official duties are based in part on the following salient facts:
Officers from multiple agencies responded to the active shooter scene to assist. Many of those officers responded in full uniform and in marked police vehicles within view of the Evans' residence. All officers responded to the scene in the official course of their duties.

Evans' residence is in a residential subdivision where numerous homes are in relative proximity - well within the range of a gunshot.
Evans did not respond to officers' announcements and/or phone calls for over two hours.

The ERT members within proximity of Evans' residence were aware of the conversation between Evans and the hostage crisis negotiator.
Significant warning was provided to Evans as the officers pleaded with him to drop his weapon. Rather than comply with the officers' commands, Evans raised the gun, pointed it at Master Trooper Eric Williams, and started walking directly towards Williams.

Evans' pointing of a firearm directly at Master Trooper Williams was a forcible felony.

The black handgun Evans pointed directly at Master Trooper Williams was a deadly weapon capable of inflicting serious bodily harm and/or death to persons. Every officer on scene is trained that a handgun is a deadly weapon and should be met with deadly force. Further, they are trained to meet deadly force with deadly force.

The following is a summary of the findings.

The officers' use of force was objectively reasonable in light of all known facts. The evidence supports two separate legal justification defenses that deadly force was appropriate in this instance. Evans' pointing of a firearm directly at an officer, combined with his earlier gunshot in the direction of Roope, the continued gunshot firing in the area, and the threatening statements he made to the hostage crisis negotiator, created a reasonable belief that Evans intended to inflict serious bodily injury to the officers and/or commit a forcible felony.

Further, the officers, who were acting in their official capacity, were in a place where they had a right and duty to be, and while there, were placed in a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm based on Evans actions that day. Evans created an immediate and potentially deadly threat to officers that justified the use of deadly force under two separate legal justifications.
These facts and findings were formally filed in Ripley County court on March 23.