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No charges in fatal shooting

Too little evidence against trooper

– Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards will not file criminal charges in the May shooting death of a Fort Wayne man by an Indiana State Police trooper.

On May 18, Trooper Seth W. Mann fatally shot 33-year-old Lucius Washington on West Main Street.

Richards said the investigation into the shooting is complete. No charges will be filed because there is “insufficient evidence of criminal liability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Richards said in the prepared statement.

Richards did not describe the shooting as justified. She was unavailable for further comment Friday afternoon. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Michael McAlexander said only that there was insufficient evidence of criminal liability.

The prosecutor’s statement contained the same language she used to describe the 2007 shooting of Jose Baudilio Lemus-Rodriguez, who was shot to death by rookie Fort Wayne police officer James Arnold. After crashing into a sign, Lemus-Rodriguez began backing his car away from an officer as he reached into the vehicle. Arnold, believing the officer was in danger, then fired at the car.

Last May, according to police, Mann was driving on Main Street after dropping off an arrestee at the Allen County Jail when he saw a fight where multiple people were ganging up on one person. Mann turned his car around, and while some people stayed in the location, Washington left the scene. Mann called for Washington to stop and followed him, catching up to him a short distance away.

The two went to the ground in a brief scuffle and at some point Mann pulled his gun and shot Washington, police said.

Mann has since transferred to the Toll Road post of the Indiana State Police, a move that had nothing to do with the shooting, according to ISP public information officer Sgt. Ron Galaviz.

rgreen@jg.net

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