Man killed in officer-involved shooting had previous run-ins with police

The shooting was reported outside of the Brownstown Police Department, located at 200 West...
The shooting was reported outside of the Brownstown Police Department, located at 200 West Walnut Street, around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Apr. 3, 2019 at 8:30 PM CDT
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BROWNSTOWN, IN (WAVE) - A man is dead after a domestic dispute outside the Brownstown, Ind., Police Department led to an officer-involved shooting Wednesday morning.

The man was identified as 53-year-old Barry Rucker, of Brownstown.

Indiana State Police said Rucker and a woman got into a fight. Police came out and tried to arrest Rucker, but he resisted.

“I know they tried to subdue him in other ways, I think a Taser was used and wasn’t effective, and that’s when it escalated to him producing a handgun,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said.

Two officers then shot at Rucker. It’s unclear how many shots were fired.

“You know, all indications are the officers felt threatened by that gun that was produced, and they used their firearms to defend themselves and possibly this female that was at the scene from also getting injured or worse,” Wheeles said.

Rucker was taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, where he was pronounced dead.

The woman with him at the time of the shooting was uninjured.

Rucker has had a number of run-ins with law enforcement in the past, including charges of resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct in 2016.

In March 2018, Rucker was found guilty of domestic battery after he grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and threatened her with a gun.

He was released on probation, but violated it in November 2018 when he was charged with domestic battery by means of a deadly weapon and intimidation. In that incident, Rucker allegedly pulled out a machete on that same girlfriend and chased her, threatening to kill her and cutting her twice.

Rucker was in court at a pretrial conference in that case just one day before police killed him. He received a plea deal offer that included a home-detention sentence.

“A victim of domestic violence will try about seven to 10 times to end the relationship,” Isela Arras, with The Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said.

She said there’s no clear cut answer to deal with different domestic violence situations. Often, leaving the situation can be dangerous for the victim.

In both incidents involving Rucker, the woman alleges meth was involved and he had issues with the substance.

The judge ordered no contact with the woman. Police haven’t confirmed if the woman he was having a fight with outside of the station before the officer-involved shooting was that same woman. But it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Rucker to violate a protective order, as he did so back in 2007 with another woman.

“What makes leaving so high risk is the prevalence of stalking,” Arras said.

The Coalition thinks we should take a look at the way institutions handle critical interventions.

“It does not start with victims, it might start with us not expecting the victims keep themselves safe -- because that’s a really big responsibility in reality and this case may demonstrate it -- it’s impossible for the victims to shoulder alone,” Arras said.

The woman with Rucker at the time of the shooting has not yet been identified, nor have the officers who were involved.

“They are not on active patrol right now, so they are on administrative leave right now,” Wheeles said.

The Indiana State Police will be conducting interviews and looking through any video surveillance to find out what led to the shooting.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.