Prosecutor: Madison County deputy's use of handgun justified in July 14 incident

Aug. 23—ANDERSON — The Madison County Prosecutor's Office has decided a county sheriff's deputy was justified in firing his weapon during an incident in July.

The Indiana State Police conducted the investigation of the July 14 early-morning incident at Fifth and Jackson streets. The incident itself remains under investigation.

According to a press release issued by Prosecutor Rodney Cummings, the occupants of a vehicle heading east on Fifth Street fired shots at three people in the parking lot of Jackson Mart. One of the three returned gunfire.

Deputy Robert Lemon was driving south on Jackson Street and had stopped at the traffic light when he heard 10 to 20 gunshots.

Lemon didn't know some of the gunshots had been fired from the moving vehicle and, after exiting his patrol car, saw two people, one with a handgun, at the gas pumps.

Lemon gave "verbal commands" to the people near the gas pumps, which were ignored, according to the press release.

Lemon fired five shots and continued to give commands, the release said, before additional officers arrived. The press release doesn't specify what the commands were.

One person near the gas pumps was shot in the leg. Authorities believe the bullet came from the moving vehicle.

The investigation by ISP determined 13 shell casings were found around the gas pumps. Five other casings of bullets fired by Lemon and four others from another weapon were found near the intersection. Police found two weapons in the vehicles near the gas pumps.

"Deputy Lemon's use of deadly force was justified under the law to effectuate an arrest of a person who he reasonably believed posed a threat to himself and others," Cummings wrote.

To report information about the drive-by shootings, call ISP Detective Anthony Klettheimer at 765-778-2121.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.