Indiana firefighter who shot neighbor 4 times will not face charges, says prosecutor

Johnson County Sheriff's Office

(ABC)– An Indiana firefighter who shot his neighbor four times in the chest area following a dispute over a fence acted in self defense and will not face charges, the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The incident was captured on video that was released by the prosecutor’s office, and depicts Indianapolis firefighter Dean Keller and neighbor Jeffrey Weigle engaged in a heated argument on June 27 along a “small section of fence which ran along Dean Keller’s property line,” the office said in a statement.

The situation escalated when Weigle “adjusts a portion of the fence,” and then drives away on his lawnmower in the opposite direction. As Keller approached the fence, Weigle turned and drove his lawn mower back towards Keller, and then drew a handgun from his pocket.

“Upon seeing Weigle’s handgun, Keller drew his handgun and fired at Weigle,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that Weigle fired back.

“Given the aggression shown by Weigle … it was reasonable for Keller to believe deadly force was necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to himself and/or his wife, who was standing nearby,” the statement added.

The prosecutor’s office added that it will still be determined if Weigle will face charges, “if and when he recovers.” More than a week after the incident, Weigle remains in critical condition.

Michael J. Kyle, Keller’s attorney, told ABC News in a statement that Keller “is a respected fireman who is praying that his neighbor, Mr. Weigle, will survive and live a long, full life.”

“However, Dean does not regret defending himself, his wife, his family and his property against this neighbor whose escalating erratic behavior culminated with Mr. Weigle drawing a weapon in an unprovoked and aggressive manner against Dean and his wife,” Kyle added, saying that Keller “acted reasonably under the circumstances” and is “looking forward to moving beyond this event.”

The neighbors have argued more than a dozen times in the last 8 years over everything from the location of a fence to Keller’s dogs, according to Chief Deputy Randy Werden of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s